Arturo Sandoval – Straight Ahead (1988)

FrontCover1With his remarkable range and phenomenal technique, Arturo Sandoval is one of the world’s great trumpeters; he can do virtually anything he wants on his instrument. Some detractors have claimed that he has too much technique (is such a thing possible?) and that his recordings for GRP are a bit erratic. The latter criticism cannot be applied to this 1988 release. Sandoval is heard with a standard quartet comprised of the great pianist Chucho Valdes (the leader of Irakere), bassist Ron Matthewson, and drummer Martin Drew. Recorded in England before Sandoval broke ties with Cuba, Sandoval is in near-miraculous form on some blues, a lyrical “My Funny Valentine,” and a few basic originals. Just listen to him tear through “Blue Monk,” playing in the low register with the speed of an Al Hirt before jumping into the stratosphere like Maynard Ferguson. This CD serves as an excellent introduction for the bop lover to the very talented Arturo Sandoval. (by Scott Yanow)

Martin Drew (drums)
Ron Mathewson (bass)
Arturo Sandoval (trumpet)
Chucho Valdés (piano)

01. King Pete’s Heart (Sandoval) 7.58
02. My Funny Valentine (Rodgers/Hart)10.34
03. Mambo Influenciado (Valdés) 4.33
04. Claudia (Valdés) 7.20
05. Blues 88 (Sandoval) 6.52
06. Blue Monk (Monk) 8.10