Arturo O'Farrill: Wonderful Discovery (2007)

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Arturo O'Farrill: Wonderful Discovery
Pianist Arturo O'Farrill acknowledges the compositions of Dr. Eugene Marlow on Wonderful Discovery, where one of the composer's longtime wishes is fulfilled with an all Latin jazz album of his tunes. All but three of the dozen tunes are from Marlow's pen, along with one O'Farrill composition ("Arturo's Reverie"), an improvisation by percussionist Bobby Sanabria ("Raices"), and George Gershwin's "Summertime."

Marlow has composed more than 180 compositions for jazz and classical ensembles, with his songs performed by such diverse ensembles as The Andy LaVerne Trio, The Bobby Sanabria Big Band, The SYTOS Latin/Jazz Band with Chris Washburne and the George Gee Big Band. The Circadia Woodwind Quintet, The Alaria Chamber Ensemble and pianist Nataliya Medvodovskaya are among the artists that have performed his classical works.

O'Farrill has led quite an interesting life. Son of legendary Latin bandleader Chico O'Farrill, he was educated at the Manhattan School of Music and the Brooklyn College Conservatory, and served as pianist for Carla Bley's Big Band from 1979 to 1983. Over the course of the next dozen years, he worked with artists including Fort Apache Band, Wynton Marsalis, Papo Vasquez, Steve Turre and Lester Bowie. In 1995 he agreed to conduct the band that his father organized, Chico O'Farrill's Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. O'Farrill still leads this group every Monday Night at New York's Birdland, as part of their residency there since the late 1990s, in addition to performances around the world.

Wonderful Discovery, is striking for its high quality, utilizing some of New York's best Latin players, including percussionist Bobby Sanabria, saxophonist Mario Rivera, trombonist Luis Bonilla and drummer Phoenix Rivera. The music continues to pulse after the opening "Mr. O's Groove," which features saxophonist Rivera, trumpeter Jim Seeley and percussionist Rolando Guerrero. "A Smile for Everyone" features altoist Bobby Porcelli, and O'Farrill is heard to fine effect on "Old Havana, "Song for an Old Soul" and "Flight.

Wonderful Discovery is a consistent and pleasing album, and it comes as no surprise that Dr. Billy Taylor and Dan Morgenstern, Director of the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies, offer praise of both O'Farrill and Marlow on the cover.

Track Listing: Mr. O's Groove; Song for an Old Soul; Summertime; Arturo's Reverie; Flight; Go Like The Wind; Down the Road; Raices (Roots); A Smile for Everyone; Take-A-Break; Old Havana; Wonderful Discovery.

Personnel: Arturo OFarrill: piano/leader: Jim Seeley: trumpet: Michael Philip Mossman: trumpet/flugelhorn; Mario Rivera: soprano saxophone/flute: Bobby Porcelli: alto saxophone: Hayes Greenfield: alto/soprano saxophone; Luis Bonilla trombone; Ruben Rodriguez: bass; Phoenix Rivera: drums; Bobby Sanabria: percussion/vocals; Roland Guerrero: percussion; Cristian Rivera: percussion; Rory Stuart: guitar: Amy Cervini: vocals; Kathryn Strohmaier: vocals.

Record Label: MEII Enterprises

Style: Latin/World


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