Son of famed – “Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra” leader Chico O’Farrill, pianist Arturo O’ Farrill pursues the time honored piano trio format with this new release consisting of standards, titled after Dizzy Gillespie’s ubiquitous classic A Night In Tunisia
. The overall production works out rather well thanks to the pianist’s impassioned jazz-based renderings in accordance with the powerful rhythm section featuring bassist George Mraz and drummer Steve Berrios. Hence, Mraz and Berrios triumphantly counterbalance O’Farrill’s acute sense of the dynamic, Latin induced lines and graceful mode of execution which is evident on “A Night In Tunisia”, three Jobim compositions and others.
O’ Farrill provides the listener with a sense of endearment on “The Shadow Of Your Smile” while pursuing lush harmonies and animated lines on “Poinciana”. However, the teaming of Mraz and Berrios alludes to the winning edge as this world class rhythm section maintains a brawny and thoroughly exhilarating pulse amid O’ Farrill’s thoughtful spins on these well-known works. At times, the pianist rekindles fond memories of Errol Garner as he performs with refined elegance and unswerving zest via his artful and altogether sincere approach to these oft recorded standards. Here, the trio offers the best of both worlds as they aggregate harmonious themes with controlled firepower.
* * * ½ (out of * * * * *)