This Latin-flavored live date (recorded in August, 2003 at Brooklyn's Up Over Jazz Café) features the pianist son of Chico O'Farrillnow a successful forty-something small and big bandleader in his own rightin a relatively straight-ahead trio setting with bassist Andy Gonzalez and drummer Dafnis Prieto. There's no mistaking the liveness or spontaneity of invention here, and while you might expect these New Yorkers of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent to light a few bonfires along the way, they stick to a relatively cerebral and controlled path. That's not to say the clave doesn't run through much of this material, but its rhythmic aspects tend to be understated, and swing is just as important.
Gonzales' "Vieques" works a light, syncopated groove organized around a hinge-like bass motif; two Carla Bley pieces explore dramatic insistence and reflective withdrawal. Listen to an extended eleven-minute version of Wayne Shorter's "Footprints" for rich, swirling undercurrents and group interplay. The much softer Silver and Ellington ballads tend to drag a bit, sounding at times over-intellectual, but Monk's very perky "Well You Needn't" closes out the set with hearty enthusiasm from all, including plenty of off-kilter, bouncing ricochets.
Overall these performances are very crisply recorded, revealing considerable maturity and strength from each player, but parts come across a little cold and dry.
Track Listing: Vieques; Walking Batterie Woman; Peace; Footprints; Utviklinsang; In a Sentimental Mood;
Well You Needn't.
Personnel: Arturo O'Farrill: piano; Andy Gonzalez: bass; Dafnis Prieto: drums.
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.