When you pick up a CD by Arturo Sandoval, you expect to be captivated by virtuoso performances of fast bebop lines or hot Latin Jazz. A Time For Love captivates, but by lowering the blood pressure twenty points and drawing you into a world of soulful ballads. This is not a sterile “Sounds Of Romance” jazz recording, but another side of a trumpet virtuoso who is as comfortable in his execution of fast bop as he is with the lyrical ballad. So comfortable, the entire album is comprised of the latter.
A collection of instrumental and some vocal performances, Arturo Sandoval’s latest release includes refreshing renditions of well worn standards such as Charlie Chaplin’s Smile, the Kern-Harbach favorite Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, and the two Gershwin’s I Loves You Porgy. These are fittingly balanced with arrangements of Gabriel Faure’s After The Dream and Pavane (Op. 50), Maurice Ravel’s Pavane For A Dead Princess and Astor Piazolla’s Oblivion (How To Say Goodbye) which features vocalist Monica Mancini. Pianist Kenny Barron and trumpeter Chris Botti also make guest appearances.
The quartet of Sandoval on trumpet and flugelhorn, Shelly Berg on Piano, Chuck Berghofer on bass, and the album’s producer, Gregg Field on drums and percussion is backed on many of the tracks with string arrangements by Jorge Calandrelli and one Shelly Berg arrangement. Calandrelli’s arrangement of Johnny Mandel’s A Time For Love is especially entertaining as the strings and Sandoval chase each other through the melody.
The title may initially seem misleading as Sandoval explains in the liner notes. Some of the songs are love ballads, but the title also refers to the love of the blessings the trumpeter has to be thankful for such as family, friends, and, after defecting from Cuba in 1990, freedom. The recording is another side of a jazz icon and another side of jazz itself.