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Arturo Sandoval Slows the Pace on 'A Time For Love'

Arturo Sandoval Slows the Pace on 'A Time For Love'

Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Arturo Sandoval has had a stellar career playing be-bop and Afro-Cuban jazz. Turning 60 last November, Sandoval took a slightly different musical direction, slowing down the pace on his new album, "A Time For Love."

Hitting the high notes with a backbeat of infectious Latin dance rhythms is Arturo Sandoval's trademark. But, when it came time to record a new album, he decided to take a softer, gentler direction. His requests to make an album with a symphonic setting were turned down by record labels, however. He told executives that he wanted to play soft ballads with lush orchestration so he could hear the violins, violas, oboes and flutes playing behind him.

Concord Records finally offered to produce Sandoval's all-ballad album, "A Time For Love."

Addressing the orchestra on his first day in the studio, Sandoval said, "I stand before all of you great musicians with a full heart. This is a project of a lifetime, and no one could be more thrilled than me to have this precious opportunity."

Arturo Sandoval studied classical trumpet while growing up in his native Cuba. His love for jazz was nurtured by listening to his favorite radio program, "The Jazz Hour," hosted by the Voice of America's Willis Conover.

He says, "That was my true education, it's where I discovered my soul." It was also where he first heard the music of his future colleague and mentor, Dizzy Gillespie. Sandoval defected to the U.S. while touring with Dizzy in 1990, and became a naturalized citizen nine years later.

Sandoval says the song selection for his new album was a simple process that began as an impressionable young boy in Cuba.

He explains, "When I fell in love with a song, say 'Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,' I promised myself that someday I would record it." Fortunately, he kept his promise with more than a dozen standards on "A Time For Love," including the Johnny Mercer classic, "Emily."