Monday, April 16, 2012

Catching Up With Arturo Sandoval Dear Diz - The Interview!

Arturo Sandoval

Jazz and I am speaking in the more traditional sense of the old school be bop world is like a family. Members come and go, you have a dust up now and then but at the end of the day everyone is tight. Perhaps two of the tightest cats that ever walked the walk were and are Dizzy Gillespie and Arturo Sandoval - mirror images of gentleman that are kind, compassionate and caring and then comes and only then comes the music. Gillespie's kindness afforded Sandoval and his family a better life here in America. There is an incredibly special release hitting the street on May 08/2012 that celebrates not freedom, not even a good life, but the joyous abandon of making music and the passion it brings forth not only in the musicians but in the passive listener. I was lucky enough to be able to play pitch and catch with a few questions for Arturo Sandoval and he was gracious enough to chat me with me about the new record and be bop in general.

I asked Mr. Sandoval concerning the big band concept as its origination as a tribute to his long time friend Dizzy Gillespie and his response was somewhat surprising.

A.S. "I did not actually pick the format, this was left up to the producer who did an outstanding job. My primary concern was in paying fitting tribute to my friend and mentor Dizzy Gillespie. It was thanks to Dizzy Gillespie that I along with my family were afforded the opportunity at not just full filling but living the American dream!"

One of the more logical questions to follow would be for the listener. I asked Sandoval that if there were something of a specific nature that he hoped the listen was able to take from this incredible disc what would that one thing be?

A.S. "The melodies of this incredible songs. The beautiful melodies that my friend gave to the world will live forever and this recording is my humble way of saying thank you and to honor a great man and his genius."

I did ask Mr. Sandoval if be-bop was on "hiatus" as there seems to be more of a hybrid mix when it comes to more traditional jazz and the answer was somewhat surprising. Sandoval also enjoys musical variety with two seperate side projects working at the same time!

A.S. "Be bop is a very demanding and incredibly difficult discipline. Not everyone can play be bop, you must be able to master your instrument before even considering this musical path. This music is not easy, it is hard and the learning curve is great. Some musicians pay choose alternate paths simply due to the difficulty of the music itself. You have to have a quick mind to play this music."

Dear Diz as a more "conceptual" release was the brain child of the producer more so than Sandoval but when asked the one thing Arturo Sandoval hoped the listener would take away from this mind blowing release the reply was as simple a straight forward. While Gillespie hold not only a special place in Sandoval's heart but in the hearts of fans everywhere, I asked what players are out there now that are blowing him away."

A.S. "I want people to remember the beautiful melodies that my friend and mentor Dizzy Gillespie left us. While Sandoval added the name of a Russian player whose name I will add at a later date, Wynton Marsalis seemed to immediately come to Sandoval's mind and perhaps due to some of the musical similarities involved but I will let the listener deceide that."

Dear Diz is like a that musical thank you note we all need to write but sometimes life just gets in the way. Arturo Sandoval and the entire team from the Concord Music Group team up to not only help finish that thank you note but remind us of the true joy of not only making music but to allow ourselves the time to become engrossed in artistic achievement that transcends everyday life and gives new meaning to words like passion, friendship and creativity.

An extended review coming soon!

Thanks Brent Black