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Jazz Articles about Bill O'Connell

36

Album Review

Bill O'Connell: A Change Is Gonna Come

Read "A Change Is Gonna Come" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Pianist Bill O'Connell, who has been at the top of his game for more than four decades with no signs of slowing down, says each of his albums is a snapshot of how he is feeling at a particular time in his life. A Change Is Gonna Come expresses O'Connell's frame of mind after enduring more than two years of the Coronavirus pandemic. By and large, the mood is optimistic, underscoring his belief that the worst of the pandemic could ...

3

Album Review

Bill O'Connell and The Afro Caribbean Ensemble: Wind Off The Hudson

Read "Wind Off The Hudson" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Bill O'Connell has had plenty to say with his piano in recent times, basically knocking out a session a year for the Savant imprint. And with an exploration within the solo format, a trip with an augmented trio, and ventures promoting a medium-sized conglomerate of heavy-hitters, he's certainly traversed quite an expanse there. But, as Wind Off The Hudson clearly shows, he's still got room grow. The Afro Caribbean Ensemble--his largest on-record gathering of late, and a ...

10

Album Review

Bill O'Connell: Monk's Cha Cha

Read "Monk's Cha Cha" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Pianist Bill O'Connell has long been valued for his blazing Latin chops, enlivening bands lead by flutist Dave Valentin and legendary conguero Mongo Santamaria as a sideman and delivering his own burning leader dates on a variety of respected imprints in recent times--Zoho, Challenge, and Savant, to name just three. He's been a steady though occasionally under-documented force in the music for decades, putting his dependable pianistic stamp on many absorbing projects, but he's never delved deeply into the art ...

8

Album Review

Bill O'Connell: Imagine

Read "Imagine" reviewed by John Ephland


Bill O'Connell's version of the standard “Willow Weep For Me" is one of those rare items: playing totally against type as a Latin burner with that classic, mesmerizing two-chord piano vamp, the only thing missing would be someone actually trying to sing this lament amidst the happy sprawl of players and arrangement O'Connell's dished up. Unlike other gestures into Latin-land that sprout from tune to tune with other jazz musicians, what makes Imagine notable is the combination of writing with ...

4

Album Review

Bill O'Connell + The Latin Jazz All-Stars: Zócalo

Read "Zócalo" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Latin jazz piano dynamo Bill O'Connell found a parallel between this gathering and Zócalo, the main plaza situated in the center of Mexico City; that square has long been a place where people meet to connect, celebrate and join together as one, and the same sense of togetherness and unity associated with that spot surrounds this recording. O'Connell and his simpatico sextet mates sizzle, swoon and soar as they explore the art of creation through communication. Sometimes ...

160

Album Review

Bill O'Connell: Triple Play Plus Three

Read "Triple Play Plus Three" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Pianist Bill O'Connell's Triple Play (Savant, 2008) turned traditional notions of piano trio instrumentation on their head, and this album is a logical outgrowth and expansion of that particular project. While that outing had a consistent three man line-up that married O'Connell's piano with conga drummer/percussionist Richie Flores' engaging rhythm work and the fine flute playing of Dave Valentin, Triple Play Plus Three uses Valentin's spot as a revolving hot seat. The flautist returns for three numbers, including a mellow ...

250

Album Review

Bill O'Connell: Rhapsody in Blue

Read "Rhapsody in Blue" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins


Don't let the title, Rhapsody in Blue, fool you. Pianist Bill O'Connell isn't doing an album-length tribute to Gershwin. The title song is just one of three covers in this ten-track set; he rest are O'Connell originals. “Monk's Cha-Cha" features alto saxophonist Steve Slagle. Dave Samuels follows O'Connell with a solo. Bassist Luques Curtis, drummer Steve Berrios and conguero Richie Flores carry the mood of this piece. After the middle solos, Slagle again takes point, while Flores mixes ...


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