Friday, May 02, 2008

Arturo O'Farrill

I have been meaning to write about Arturo for a while but every time I do I put on one of his CD's and start listening. Well I can't help it his playing just rifles along in bouncy rhythms that disguise the effort. The man can play and well writing about playing is very difficult especially when listening. Afro-Cuban Jazz I guess if you are going to label something that's as good a name as any. I would throw out the phrase World Jazz, or describe it as jazz with an island sensibility. Calypso meets Swing meets Coltrane. It doesn't matter the music has heart and a real sense of joy. His father (also Arturo) was an innovator but over looked by the establishment. Well the establishment is a bunch of small minded idiots protecting their own turf. So they suck and who cares what they think. Now a days more enlightened individuals (thank you Wynton Marsalis) have opened doors for Arturo. His Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra performs at the Lincoln Center in NY as a regular gig, and all over the world.

I'm not really sure how I stumbled into his work. Pulling on the Buena Vista Social Club string I probably came across his recording Night in Tunisia and well I'm hooked. This is not unaccessible music and the Brazilian and Santa Domingo influences from Latin America are here as well as the mellow classic jazz lines of Monk and Mcoy Tyner, and even shades of Vince Guaraldi very, very nice. It is a wide musical landscape played very tastefully.

Music is gumbo and Arturo is a world renowned chef - and so now you know - dig in and enjoy - hot and spicy, cool and mellow and it swings - it's all here.

Play the strings of discovery here and here!

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