Category Archives: CD-Reviews

Review a CD / album

Arturo Sandoval: Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You)

images

Last summer I saw Arturo Sandoval live in Fribourg (to be precise on July 9, 2013). We heard many tunes from the CD “Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You)” and this concert was quite remarkable, because Arturo Sandoval was the jack-of-all-trades on stage, he was basically everywhere, playing his trumpet, he sang, played the piano and the timbales. But behind all this activities it was also possible to feel his deep reverence for Dizzy Gillespie, his friend and mentor. I bought the CD and it turned out to be one of my favorite CDs of last summer.

The music of Arturo Sandoval is full of energy, very rhythmic, inspired by his Cuban roots, perfectly arranged and excellently played. Arturo Sandoval is supported by many famous musicians like Gary Burton on vibraphone, Bob Mintzer on saxophone and organist Joey DeFrancesco. The result is a remarkable reminiscence to Dizzy Gillespie and his music and gives the “old” tunes a fresh new look and Arturo Sandoval’s trumpet is shining and sparkling above all.

The CD starts with the excellently swinging “Be Bop” and a groovy Salsa inspired version of “Salt Peanuts”, followed by the “Pink Panther – Henry Mancini” style arranged version of “Birks Works”. After that the CD reaches it’s first highlight with “Things To Come” which is really fast and furious.

We get a little bit of a break afterwards with the string quartet plus trumpet arrangement of “Con Alma” before the “must” tune “A Night in Tunisia” ends the regular part of the CD. If you haven’t seen Arturo Sandoval playing this tune I have added a video for you, since this was also during the concert the best moment. And I guess this is perfectly in line with the way Dizzy Gillespie would understand how to play this song. You’re not allowed to rest, you have to be brilliant and steal the show with this tune. 

The CD ends with the title song. In “Every Day I Think of You” you feel that Arturo Sandoval really misses Dizzy Gillespie, his long-time friend and mentor, the person who basically gave him a second chance in life after leaving Cuba.

If you want to know more about that special relationship you might also take a look at the 2001 movie “For Love or Country” (starring Andy Garcia, Mia Maestro and Gloria Estefan).

I think this CD is perfectly arranged and show that the music of Dizzy Gillespie and Be Bop in general have not added any rust, it is still the style we associate typically with Jazz music, and Arturo Sandoval is the true heir.

The first video shows you a live version of “Night in Tunisia”:

The second video includes some interesting promotional material from Concord Records:

Finally, a link to the album if you want to hear some more…

Eliane Elias: I Thought About You (A Tribute To Chet Baker)

Some weeks ago I received a newsletter from Concord Music including an offer to buy CDs released in 2013 for a reduced price. I took the opportunity and ordered some CDs including a free download and a signed booklet.

One of the CDs was Eliane Elias’ tribute to Chet Baker. Chet Baker died 25 years ago and there is a little bit of an extra remembrance about him, even if I never had the impression he is really forgotten, since playing “cool” was never out of fashion.

The group that supports Eliane Elias on this CD are her husband Marc Johnson on bass, Victor Lewis on drums (the two played with Chet Baker – as I have learned), Randy Brecker on trumpet and flugelhorn and two guitar players, Steve Cardenas and Oscar Castro-Neves, and these two guitar players make for me the difference on this CD. Some tunes are played without a drummer like the title song “I Thought About You” and bass and guitar lay the perfect foundation for a really cool and groovy song.

On “There Will Never Be Another You“ the samba groove comes from an acoustic guitar and in other tunes (e.g. in the intro of „Just In Time“) piano and guitar play the melody together which I think is just a classic sound.

Nevertheless, the rest of the CD is also quite remarkable:

  • Randy Brecker shows his skills with notable trumpet solos on “There Will Never Be Another You”,  “That Old Feeling” and with the flugelhorn on “Just Friends”.
  • Some of may favorite tunes like “You Don’t Know What Love Is” or “Girl Talk” are found on the CD.
  • “Embraceable You” and “Let’s Get Lost” have a lengthy coda where Eliane Elias is improvising over some simple changes and creates a nice groove.
  • “Just in Time” starts with a fantastic piano and guitar intro. The bass is then defining the fast tempo of this song and only the guitar accompanies the singing.
  • The CD ends with a beautiful ballad “I Get Along Without You Very Well” where Eliane Elias is alone, just her voice and her piano playing.

 If you like the sound of traditional and perfectly swinging jazz, you should try to listen to this CD. I like it a lot.

Concord released also an informative video to promote the album: