those roots. at once strongly expressive but penetratingly direct, and capable of being turned to a wide variety of settings. The saxman found himself in demand from major rock names. touring with The Rolling Stones. and playing album sessions with the likes of David Bowie. James Taylor. Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen. Looking back. though. he plays down the significance ofthat work.
‘I think when I was involved in playing on these kinds of records. and I don't do much of that now. it is pretty hard to not play the way you play. You can‘t really change your basic style. and in any case I was called by people because of the way I played. not because they wanted me to come in and do
- something else. They wanted me for a very specific
reason. usually to play a solo on a tune which had a very specific thing they thought I would bring to it.
‘People always talk about those names. but I never really did a lot of it. It was more that the things I did were on very high-profile records. which were very popular at the time because of the artists involved. not because of me. So I would maybe do two sessions in a month. but they would be on a James Taylor album and a David Bowie record. and you would hear those songs everywhere. so it seemed I was doing these sessions all the time. which wasn‘t the case at all!
‘I was always happy to do them. though. and I never worried about what categories they might be in. Ifyou think ofyourselfas just a jazz musician or a rock and roll musician or whatever. I think you limit yourself. and what you are doing. You limit your ability to grow.‘
David Sanborn plays at the Concert H all on Saturday 6. Another Hand is released on WEA Records on 1 July.
Kenny Mathieson talks to Cuban exile Arturo Sandoval about jazz life under Fidel.
The Cuban trumpet star Arturo Sandoval had already built a sizeable reputation for himself in the West when he slipped through a side door in the American Embassy in Rome with his family last year. to begin a new life outside the control of Cuba‘s restrictive regime.
It is appropriate that his first visit to Scotland as leader of his own band should be to the Glasgow Jazz Festival. since last year‘s event was one of the very first gigs the trumpeter played after his defection. On that occasion. his spectacular high-register acrobatics pepped up
Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nation Orchestra. a band which celebrated within itself the kind ofdiversity "denied in Cuba.
able to travel abroad with my family.‘ Sandoval told me from his new home in that Cuban home-from-home. Miami. ‘I was allowed to travel abroad myself. or with the band. when the Government wanted me to. but not with my family. and I couldn‘t leave without them.
‘In Cuba. the Goyernment controls everything. They pay you a salary. and for that salary you have to do everything they say. It‘s a different way of life. very different. You get a salary for the month. and that‘s it. whether you play one thousand times a day or once a year. it doesn‘t matter. It‘s not a good thing for the musicians - they have no incentive to improve themselves.‘
Sandoval began to play trumpet in the mid-60s. and secured his first engagements with a big band in Havana in 1967. He played with them for about four years before joining the group in which he first came to Western attention. the Cuban-jazz outfit Irakere.
‘I started listening to jazz records in about 1965. and I always loved jazz.
but Cuba was really difficult in my
PREVIEW GLASGOW JAZZ FESTIVAL l l
time there. because they thought jazz music was the music of the Yankee imperialists. you know. which is bullshit. Jazz does not belong to any political system. it
belongs to human beings. but we had =
to suffer these horrible ideas all the time there. ‘That was one of the main reasons I
felt I had to leave. [wanted to be free =
to go where I wanted. and to play
' with who I wanted when I wanted.
instead of being told what to do by somebody else all the time. The situation is very complicated over there now.’
If Sandoval has established his reputation as a jazz player in the West. his curriculum vitae reveals one or two less expected collaborators among the list of distinguished jazz names. Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman. Herbie Hancock and John McLaughlin are
fair enough. but the Leningrad ‘ Symphony Orchestra? And the
‘It took me a long time before I was
Helsinki Symphony Orchestra? ‘Oh. sure. yeah. I played the
1 Haydn Trumpet Concerto with the
Leningrad Orchestra in Germany a
couple ofyears ago. and the Leopold 5
Mozart Concerto in Helsinki. and I
am doing some more in London soon 5 I
as well. I've been playing classical music a long time. I went to the conservatory in Havana and received a classical training before I started to play any jazz at all.‘
And what made him choose the trumpet?
‘That's a good question. and it is one I have asked myselfmany times. but I don‘t really know what the answer is. When I started playing I tried a few different instruments. percussion and trombone and ﬂute and stuff. but I was always looking at the trumpeter out ofthe corner of my eye. you know. and I was thinking maybe that is the one? I think now that it probably is the one. but it is too late to change anyway!‘
A rturo Sandoval plays two concerts at the Tramway. with his Group on Thursday 4. and as A rtist in
Residence with the .S‘trathclyde Youth
Jazz Orchestra on Saturday 6.
l _ l The List 28June— l 1 July 1991 19
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