What followed was a very loud, electric bass heavy sounding group that took the first half of the concert to feel comfortable with the sound and with each other. The Sandoval band made up of a keyboard player, tenor saxophonist, drummer, percussionist and the aforementioned electric bassist. They opened with a trumpet song, "Embraceable You" Sandoval played electric keyboard, possibly a Moog and sounded very funky on a fast tempo. He had the synthesizer sounding very trumpet like.On trumpet, Sandoval blows in the mid range with flowing phrases and catchy triplets that run up into the high register where he’ll continue to run a scale, ending on a high note, screaming for attention and holding the note for a lengthy period of time - before descending in a fluid manner back to a comfortable mid range tone.
The saxophone player keeps close to Sandoval in energy and sounds; he fires off rapid runs and travels the entire spectrum of his saxophones range. At times, he is so engaged in keeping up with Sandoval that his playing becomes almost hyperactive. Most of the time, his lines were thoughtful, sounded clean and clear but never lacked excitement. He also doubles on electronic wind synthesizer playing sounds that are somewhere between a saxophone and an electric piano, a jazz - funk, fusion inspired sound.
The front-men all sounded good individually but the whole thing as a package didn’t sound so good. Something didn't come together. The bass was overpowering, the drums were very laid back, the percussionist couldn't be heard and the piano was in the mix but not blending, as I would've liked.
After some brief but heated looking discussions with the sound man controlling the monitors, things seemed to come together and sounded more cohesive. The Latin jazz, with solid funk overtones continued on into the evening with the audience being treated to Arturo Sandoval’s diversity, as he played some piano, some synthesizer, he sang a little and he played timbale. It would have been fine, if he just settled on trumpet. His playing is excellent, his comfort zone knows no boundaries. He played the trumpet in every form and put on a tremendous display of amazing technique.