On the Grammys 2013 edition, my favorite in the category of Best Jazz Large Ensemble Album is unquestionably Arturo Sandoval’s “Dear Diz”.
The Cuban trumpeter should earn his 9th Grammy (includes Latin Grammy awards) as his tribute to his friend and mentor is one of the best Jazz productions I’ve listened.
“Dear Diz” Another Arturo Sandoval Gem
It’s well known that Dizzy Gillespie was the one who help orchestrate Arturo Sandoval’s defection from Cuba in July 1990. He had been his musical idol and then mentor since they met in Havana in 1977. In that encounter, Sandoval pretended to be a taxi driver to meet and drive his idol. Later during Dizzy’s visit to Cuba, Arturo Sandoval revealed to Dizzy as a trumpet player going onstage to perform with him.
In the song “Every Day I Think About You”, which Arturo Sandoval wrote, performed, and sang, he clearly displays the emotion of dedicating this song and album to his friend. Dizzy helped change his musical career and his life. You can actually feel in the song how much this album means for Arturo Sandoval.
Sandoval’s collection of the great late Jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie is a well produced and performed big band Jazz album. The album collects some of the best compositions of Dizzy Gillespie. It has the backing of an excellent cast of musicians and arrangers, including Sandoval himself.
“Dear Diz” My Favorite for Best Jazz Large Ensemble Album
Although I admit to be biased towards the Latin musician in this category, I truly believe that Sandoval’s “Dear Diz” is a superior album over the other two nominees;
1. Gil Evans Project’s “Centenial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans”
2. Bob Mintzer Big Band’s “For The Moment”
The quality of music, performance, and production of “Dear Diz” only comes around once in a few years. Arturo Sandoval already carried a Latin Grammy with this album. In my opinion, he should also carry the Grammy in Sunday’s edition of the Grammy Awards.