Aldo’s new work “90 miles” debuts in Carnegie Hall
Review: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Troy Chromatics
Feb. 19th, 2022

TROY — The revered Orpheus Chamber Orchestra made a return appearance with the Troy Chromatics on Friday night and brought along a different kind of soloist – Arturo Sandoval, the legendary jazz trumpeter, band leader and composer. He seemed more than at home in this classical setting and was onstage most of the night playing his own compositions.

Trumpeters don’t tease and Sandoval’s first note was as powerful as anything else in the program. Fast and brilliant flourishes and that all-encompassing sound launched his Trumpet Concerto No. 2, in its American premiere. Across its three movements Sandoval delivered vibrant highs and gracious melodies. Bits of the tunes and the character of the orchestrations brought to mind Hollywood soundtracks as diverse as “Gone with the Wind”, ”E.T.” and “Jurassic Park.” Nothing wrong with that.

Sandoval was more subdued, seductive even, in the Johnny Mandel song “A Time for Love.” In one of numerous asides to the audience, he described the just finished performance as “feeling like a fish in nice warm water.” After that came“ Every Day I Think of You,” Sandoval’s tribute to his mentor Dizzy Gillespie, which had him singing more than playing. It’s a tender and sincere ballad with lyrics that boarder on the romantic.

Gershwin’s Cuban Overture opened the program and showcased the 25-piece Orpheus playing with characteristic ease and elegance plus some Latin style. The same goes for Ernesto Lecuona’s “Andalucia,” during the concert’s second half. Yet the charm and dark flavor of the suite of six dances wore off about halfway through.

As a finale, contemporary Cuban composer Aldo Lopez-Gavilan’s “90 Miles” was a fresh and lively take on the mambo, that included sighs and shouts from the players. It had lots of tight and knotty solos tailor-made for Sandoval, who spent the orchestral passages swaying about. The piece was commissioned for the program, which plays at Carnegie Hall on Saturday.

For the encore, Sandoval joined the percussion section in the rollicking good fun of “El Cumanchero,” a staple of Latin music. Bassist Gregg August, who grew up in Schenectady and teaches at Williams College, arranged the encore, concerto and songs.

Joseph Dalton is a freelance writer based in Troy.
Concert review
Arturo Sandoval, trumpet
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Presented by Troy Chromatics Concert
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
Length: Two hours; one intermission


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