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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America


By Patricia Chao
Published March 3, 2006

My Passion For The Piano
Crescent Moon

This four-time Grammy-winner’s life was the subject of the HBO film For Love or Country. Known as the man who sings the high notes most trumpeters dare not imagine, Sandoval is also an accomplished pianist, which he demonstrates in this pleasurable outing. The effect is not in small part due to the other members of the trio—drummer Ernesto Simpson and soulful bassist Dennis Marks, with saxist Ed Calle chiming in on Marks’ compositions “Departure” and “Time Before.” Sandoval, whose touch is lighter than you’d expect from his horn playing, performs sparkling covers of classics such as “All the Things You Are” and “Stella by Starlight,” but the most compelling cuts are his own compositions. Of the two versions of “Blues in F,” the second, Cuban, version, is by far the looser and swingier. In the heart-rending “Marianela Says Good-Bye,” Sandoval displays the straightforwardness and clarity that are his trademarks as a musician—it’s a simple romantic bolero with tender permutations, presented with the restraint and simplicity of a Scarlatti sonata.