Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
131

Arturo O'Farrill: 40 Acres And A Burro

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Arturo O'Farrill: 40 Acres And A Burro Founded in 2002 by Artistic Director Arturo O'Farrill, The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra of New York's Lincoln Center was created to perform compositions from Latin music masters including the pianist's father Chico O'Farrill, as well as Machito Tito Puente, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and others. The group separated from Lincoln Center on 2007, becoming part of the new Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA), a non-profit organization dedicated to developing a new audience and educational opportunities for young performers. 40 Acres And A Burro, refers to the Civil War-era practice of providing farmland to Black slaves, newly freed from the chains of the Confederacy. For O'Farrill, the album refers to the freedom the group now has, as the resident big band at the Symphony Space, on the Upper East side of Manhattan, no longer constrained by the limitations of its previous host.

The group's philosophy looks at Latin and jazz music as one and the same—and, in a sense, does not consider Latin jazz as a separate genre but, rather, music that shares the same DNA building blocks of swing, blues and improvisation. Nevertheless, Latin swing is certainly a part of 40 Acres And A Burro, with Afro-Cuban rhythms playing a major role in the music's texture. The percussive swing and gyrations begin immediately on the opening "Rumba Urbana," with heated solos from alto saxophonist Bobby Porcelli, trombonist Gary Valente, and long-time O'Farrill band mate, trumpeter Jim Seeley.

There's a lot more swing on "A Wise Latina," O'Farrill's tribute to Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor, and more of the same with a lively salsa beat kicking in on the Chico O'Farrill arrangement of "Almendra." The great Paquito D'Rivera appears as a guest, contributing clarinet to "Um A Zero," a choro-styled Brazilian number from composer Pixinguinha. A descendant of Irish stock, O'Farrill pays tribute to his heritage by including a Celtic composition from David Bixler, featuring the saxophonist's wife, Heather Martin Bixler, on violin, and accompanied by a delicious tenor solo from Peter Brainin. In recognition of O'Farrill's Cuban heritage, he includes the tribute, "Ruminaciones Sobre Cuba," actually penned while visiting the island.

Rounding out the repertoire are Astor Piazzolla's "Tanguango," Hermeto Pascoal's "Bebe," and an absolutely dazzling big band arrangement of Dizzy Gillespie classic "A Night In Tunisia." Despite the dictates of the group's new philosophy on Latin and jazz music, 40 Acres And A Burro is nothing less than a sizzling and pulsating big band project. A failure at any attempt to erase the boundaries between Latin and straight jazz music, perhaps; but an unquestioned success as an articulate Latin jazz big band album.


Track Listing: Rumba Urbana; A Wise Latina; Um A Zero; El Sur; She Moves Through The Fair; Ruminaciones Sobre Cuba; Tanguango; Bebe; A Night In Tunisia; 40 Acres And A Burro.

Personnel: Arturo O'Farrill: piano; Ricardo Rodriguez: bass; Vince Cherico: drums; Roland Guerrero: congas; Joe Gonzalez: percussion; Bobby Porcelli: alto saxophone; David DeJesus: alto saxophone; Ivan Renta: tenor saxophone; Peter Brainin: tenor saxophone; Jason Marshall: baritone saxophone; Seneca Black: trumpet; Michael Philip Mossman: trumpet; Jim Seeley: trumpet; John Walsh: trumpet; Reynaldo Jorge: trombone; Tokunori Kajiwara: trombone; Earl McIntyre: trombone; Gary Valente: trombone: Paquito D'Rivera: clarinet (4, 9); Gabriel Alegria: conducting; Pablo O. Bilbraut: guiro (3, 7); Heather Martin Bixler: violin (6); Hector Del Curto: bandoneon (8); Yuri Juarez: guitar; Freddy "Huevito" Lobaton: cajon, cajita, quijada (5); Sharon Moe: French horn (2); Jeff Scott: French horn (2); Guilherme Monteiro: guitar (4); Adam O'Farrill: trumpet (7).

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Zoho Music | Style: Latin/World


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Offense of The Drum
Offense of The Drum
Motema Music
2014
buy
Final Night at Birdland
Final Night at...
Zoho Music
2013
buy
The Noguchi Sessions
The Noguchi Sessions
Zoho Music
2012
buy
40 Acres And A Burro
40 Acres And A Burro
Zoho Music
2011
buy
Risa Negra
Risa Negra
Zoho Music
2009
buy
In These Shoes
In These Shoes
Zoho Music
2008
buy
Dizzy Gillespie Dizzy Gillespie
trumpet
Ron Carter Ron Carter
bass
McCoy Tyner McCoy Tyner
piano
Eliane Elias Eliane Elias
piano
Kenny Barron Kenny Barron
piano
Gary Burton Gary Burton
vibraphone
Cal Tjader Cal Tjader
vibraphone
Arturo Sandoval Arturo Sandoval
trumpet
Paquito D'Rivera Paquito D'Rivera
saxophone
Jane Bunnett Jane Bunnett
sax, soprano

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus
Support our sponsor

Sponsor: Motéma Music | BUY IT  

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.