All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Arturo O'Farrill and the Chico O'Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra: Final Night at Birdland

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
On June 26, 2011, Arturo O'Farrill and the Chico O'Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra ended a fifteen-year run at New York City's Birdland, and—to our good fortune—had the foresight to record that very special event for everyone to hear and appreciate. The orchestra's scion, the great Chico O'Farrill, was still living when the ensemble made its debut at Birdland 1997. When he passed away four years later, son Arturo took the reins, guiding the orchestra for more than thirteen years through its regular Sunday evening performances.

On this Final Night, the orchestra plays mostly music either written or arranged by Chico, opening with his three "Afro Cuban Jazz Moods" and continuing through Luis Miguel's even-tempered "Delirio" and Mario Bauza's five-movement "Tanga Suite" (both arranged by Chico) and Chico's rhythmically dynamic "Havana Blues" before crowning the concert with Arturo's "Fathers and Sons, From Havana to New York and Back Again," on which two of the leader's sons—trumpeter Adam and drummer Zachary O'Farrill—carry the banner forward with guest appearances. When an orchestra has been together as long as this one, its members can almost read each other's minds; that is to say, they are not only on the same page but more often the same word or sentence. There are no missteps here, and the crystal-clear recorded sound further enhances the band's dynamism and cohesion.

While everything is admirable, the "Tanga Suite" is especially persuasive, its colorful segments consisting of a Cuban lullaby, a mambo, Cuban ritual, bolero and rumba abierta. The soloists are pianist Arturo O'Farrill, trumpeters John Walsh and Matt Hilgenberg, tenor saxophonist Jed Levy, trombonists Sam Burtis and Gary Valente, conguero Tony Rosa and percussionist Joey Gonzalez. Tenor Peter Brainin and trumpeter Pete Nater are superb on "Havana Blues," and there are impressive statements elsewhere by alto David Bixler and trumpeter Jim Seeley. Adam O'Farrill introduces the animated "Fathers and Sons," soloing with dad Arturo and guest tenor Michael Herrera.

There's no doubt the orchestra wanted to make its Final Night at Birdland memorable, a goal that was not only reached but, some may argue, surpassed. For those who love Latin and Afro Cuban jazz, it doesn't get much better than this.

Track Listing: Introduction; Three Afro Cuban Jazz Moods (Kaleidoscopic / Pensativo / Exuberante); Delirio; Tanga Suite; Cuban Lullabye; Mambo; Cuban Ritual; Bolero; Rumba Abierta; Havana Blues; Fathers and Sons, from Havana to New York and Back Again.

Personnel: Arturo O’Farrill: piano, music director; John Walsh: trumpet; Jim Seeley: trumpet; Pete Nater: trumpet; Matt Hilgenberg: trumpet; David Bixler: alto sax; Todd Bashore: alto sax; Peter Brainin: tenor sax; Jed Levy: tenor sax; Maximilian Schweiger: baritone sax; Gary Valente: trombone; Sam Burtis: trombone; Kajiwara Tokunori: trombone; Jack Jeffers: bass trombone; Greg August: bass; Vince Cherico: drums; Tony Rosa: congos; Joe Gonzalez: bongo, bell. Special guests — Adam O’Farrill: trumpet; Zachary O’Farrill: drums; Michel Herrera: alto sax.

Title: Final Night at Birdland | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Zoho Music

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Familia: Tribute to Bebo & Chico

Familia: Tribute to...

Motéma Music
2017

buy
Offense of The Drum

Offense of The Drum

Motema Music
2014

buy
Risa Negra

Risa Negra

Zoho Music
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Lifelike CD/LP/Track Review
Lifelike
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Whatever Possessed Me CD/LP/Track Review
Whatever Possessed Me
by Don Phipps
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live At The Fillmore East 1968 CD/LP/Track Review
Live At The Fillmore East 1968
by Doug Collette
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "Silent Voices" CD/LP/Track Review Silent Voices
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: August 4, 2017
Read "Influx" CD/LP/Track Review Influx
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: March 4, 2018
Read "The Heart Of Infinite Change" CD/LP/Track Review The Heart Of Infinite Change
by Walter Atkins
Published: October 28, 2017
Read "Wild Is The Wind" CD/LP/Track Review Wild Is The Wind
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "I Try To Remember Where I Come From" CD/LP/Track Review I Try To Remember Where I Come From
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "BACHanalia" CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017