Certainly no household name, pianist Bill O'Connell works on the sidelines without much fanfare and his last album was nearly ten years ago for the short-lived return of Creed Taylor's CTI label. But there's something to be said for life experiences and O'Connell's time spent with Mongo Santamaria and Dave Valentin, not to mention subbing for Larry Willis in the Fort Apache Band, helped to endear him to the Afro-Cuban idiom that he manages to luxuriate in throughout Black Sand.
An undeniably mature and satisfying statement, this set features eleven originals by the pianist and one jazz standard that sit squarely within the idiom and feature Dave Valentin, Charles Fambrough, Steve Berrios, Joe Ford, and Milton Cardona. Of course, these names will be familiar to followers of Latin Jazz. O'Connell's writing favors the kind of structures which establish a strong groove while allowing for ample solo space. "Obakoso" even goes for a stripped-down percussion display by Milton Cardona recalling the folkloric tradition of Santaria. It's all pretty heady stuff that makes you wonder why O'Connell doesn't step out more often as a leader.
Track Listing: Latin Jazz, Black Sand, Blue Brazil, Obakoso, Alhamba, Kidz, Fire Dance, Gentle Rumba, Son of a Montuno, Trepidation, Iguana, It's Alright with Me.
Personnel: Bill O'Connell (piano), Andy Gonzalez & Charles Fambrough (bass), Steve Berrios (drums), Joe Ford (alto & soprano sax), Randy Brecker (trumpet), Dave Valentin (flute), Milton Cardona (congas & vocals), Carole Robinson (vocals), Sergio Cardona (percussion)
I love jazz because it is the only existing music style which let you
I was first exposed to jazz by Gunther Hampel in Hamburg, around 1972.
I met Ornette Coleman, Butch Morris, Karl Berger, Michel Camilo, a.o.
The best show I ever attended was Salif Keita at the Blue Note in
The first jazz record I bought was the Tony Scott and Hozan Yamamoto
My advice to new listeners: when you listen to my music, please be a
part of it.