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Live Reviews

Arturo O'Farrill & the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra

By Published: September 28, 2004
On a separate note, I was surprised to learn that one of his musical influences was Jimi Hendrix. "I loved Jimi Hendrix!" he yells. "I never met Jimi. I never heard him 'live', but I drove my father bananas! (laugh) 'Cause I would blast 'Band of Gypsys'... I would blast that record in my room. My father had absolutely no idea who Hendrix was and there was a real demarcation of cultures and eras for us along Jimi Hendrix. I just find Jimi Hendrix's music to be the embodiment of everything that we consider jazz. He was just extraodinarily explorative, extremely innovative. Jimi Hendrix painted. In my opinion he was a colorist. He used music in a very visual way. He used improvisation in a very beautiful manner. He was a visionary like Miles Davis. His eyes were set twenty years ahead."

You can hear the Latin influence on Jimi Hendrix's "House Burning Down" from the album "Electric Ladyland." Mr. O'Farrill says the influence of Latin music is everywhere. "Really what it comes down to, and I think Hendrix realized this, I think Miles (Davis) realized this, I think Dizzy (Gillespie) embodied this and embraced this with his whole heart and being, is that Latin music and jazz are closely related. The Africa influence exists because some of the slave trade ended in New Orleans and some ended in Havana, those elements never stopped creating unbelievable music and embracing the cultures they ended up in."

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