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.
Trio CDs recorded for the Japanese market tend to involve straight-ahead treatments of classic material; while their focus on melody makes them highly accessible, they're neither simplistic nor boring. This is a Latin version of that formula, with the piano chair occupied by the excellent Arturo O'Farrill, son of legendary Cuban composer Chico and heir to his Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Band (his impressive 1999 Milestone debut was appropriately called "Bloodlines"). O'Farrill's playing is vibrant and fluid, merging Latin rhythms and jazz in a bouquet of standards whose melodies – if not titles – will be familiar. There's also Paquito's merry "Samba for Carmen" and a sizzling version of Donato's "Sabor."
Other highlights include "Perfidia," updated with a funky modern groove, and "Green Eyes" and "Kiss of Fire," where the arrangements transcend cliché. And speaking of which, the closer is a solo piano version of "Besame Mucho," which is far more thoughtful and interesting than this tune usually sounds. Although Cumana lacks the intricate percussion and blaring horns of many Latin releases, it burns in its own quiet way. Entertaining and very danceable.
Track Listing: Cumana, Perfidia, Angustia, Danzaon Don Vazquez, Kiss of Fire, Cachita, Green Eyes, Samba for Carmen, Estrellita, Sabor, Besame Mucho
Personnel: Arturo O'Farrill (piano), Andy Gonzalez (bass), Dafnis Prieto (drums)
Year Released: 2003
| Record Label: M&I
| Style: Latin/World