David Bixler and Arturo O'Farrill: The Auction Project (2010)
Stylistically, The Auction Project is slightly out-of-focus. It is ostensibly the meeting of Arturo O'Farrill's Irish-Latin roots at the corner of David Bixler and Heather Martin Bixler. However, there is much to endorse the music made here, not the least of which is the presence of the two Chico O'Farrill big band alumni. Bixler's "Heptagonesque" is the successful culmination of this Hispano-Celtic experiment, with its curious Middle Eastern flavor. Is it the curry? No, it's the violin.
Marked by a serpentine head introducing the piece, by the time O'Farrill begins soloing the tune has devolved into some impressive progressive jazz, perfectly captured in O'Farrill's 88 keys. There are several time shifts in the piece, with Bixler's solo backed by a lopping, sideways 4/4. The only real hint of the Celtic connection is Heather Bixler's sharp fiddle, but it is that same fiddle providing the landscape of both Limerick and Istanbul. This is forward-thinking music a little ahead of its time.
Personnel: David Bixler: alto saxophone; Arturo O'Farrill: piano; Heather Martin Bixler: violin; Carlo Derosa: bass; Vince Cherico: drums; Roland Guerrero: percussion.