In his 40-plus-year career, Cuban-born trumpeter Arturo Sandoval has collaborated with countless major musical figures. He has never, however, made a recording that placed those collaborations into the intimate setting of a duet. On May 18, Sandoval finally achieves that benchmark with Universal Music Latino’s release of Ultimate Duets. The album includes Sandoval’s performance with Al Jarreau of the latter’s hit “After All”—the late vocalist’s final recording.
In addition to Jarreau, Ultimate Duets finds Sandoval performing with a wide range of duet partners from across the musical spectrum, including opera singer Placido Domingo, flamenco-inspired Spanish singer-songwriter Alejandro Sanz, ABBA vocalist Anni-Frid Lyngstad and legendary pop-music polymath Stevie Wonder. Sandoval also included a second posthumous performance, a collaboration with the iconic Cuban vocalist Celia Cruz—the trumpeter’s longtime friend who passed away in 2003.
Sandoval asked each of his collaborators to bring in a favorite song for the duo to reimagine together. The results included a number of surprising, intriguing choices. Wonder asked to record Barbra Streisand’s hit “People,” which he and Sandoval had previously performed at a Grammy tribute to Streisand; Lyngstad joined Sandoval for a new rendition of “Andante, Andante,” a deep cut from ABBA’s 1980 album Super Trouper. Singer-songwriter-producer Pharrell Williams responded to Sandoval’s invitation not by suggesting an old favorite, but by composing a new original tune, “Arturo Sandoval,” on which he and the trumpeter are joined by pop vocal sensation Ariana Grande.
Ultimate Duets is Sandoval’s first album in five years, and his first since he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2013.
The full track list is as follows:
- “Don’t You Worry ’Bout a Thing” (with Prince Royce)
- “Corazon Partio” (with Alejandro Sanz)
- “People” (with Stevie Wonder)
- “Granada” (with Sandoval and Plácido Domingo feat. Vicente Amigo)
- “Arturo Sandoval” (with Pharell Williams and Ariana Grande)
- “Solo Esta Soledad” (with Josh Groban)
- “La Bilirrubina” (with Juan Luis Guerra)
- “Andante, Andante” (with Anni-Frid Lyngstad)
- “El Ruido” (with David Bisbal)
- “After All” (with Al Jarreau)
- “Quimbara” (with Celia Cruz)