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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra: Cuba: The Conversation Continues

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“I believe that there is no country in the world including any and all the countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba...in part owing to my country's policies..." --President John F. Kennedy, October 1963 Revolution and musical genres share the characteristic of having an embryonic state. While the United States and Russia bore witness to the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall and the symbolic end of the Cold War, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra: The Offense Of The Drum

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The Offense Of The Drum may be the least cohesive record in Arturo O'Farrill's discography, but that's largely by design. Here, O'Farrill firmly adheres to his stated “artistic vision"--"to bend what the world knows as Afro Latin jazz over the acoustic horizon"--better than anywhere else in his discography. Guests galore and a belief in Afro Latin camaraderie help him realize that goal, resulting in the most intriguing and expansive offering that he's ever released. In some ways ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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

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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 ...

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Arturo O'Farrill: The Noguchi Sessions

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Pianist Arturo O'Farrill has been around the block a few times and is rightly respected for his role in elevating the Latin big band genre, but he has shied away from the idea of recording a solo piano album for a long time. In the fall of 2011, O'Farrill found himself sitting behind a Steinway piano in a museum, ready to finally take the plunge, but he wasn't really alone as he placed his fingers on the keys. He was ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Arturo O'Farrill: 40 Acres And A Burro

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Founded in 2002 by Artistic Director Arturo O'Farrill, The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra of New York's Lincoln Center was created to perform compositions from Latin music masters including the pianist's father Chico O'Farrill, as well as Machito, Tito Puente, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and others. The group separated from Lincoln Center on 2007, becoming part of the new Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA), a non-profit organization dedicated to developing a new audience and educational opportunities for young performers. 40 Acres And A Burro, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Arturo O'Farrill: 40 Acres And A Burro

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Bandleader Chico O'Farrill created a template of sorts, fusing big band bravura with Latin sounds in his Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra. While his son followed in his footsteps, Arturo O'Farrill has demonstrated a broader vision, looking past the island of his origins and developing a pan-Latin approach to jazz repertoire for his appropriately named Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. With this in mind, O'Farrill finds inspiration in music from Brazil (Pixinguinha's “Um A Zero" and Hermeto Pascoal's “Bebê"), ...

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David Bixler and Arturo O'Farrill: The Auction Project

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Cuba and Ireland are worlds apart in virtually every way, but the universal language of music--is often culture-blind. The Auction Project was born out of a marriage between two longtime musical partners--saxophonist David Bixler and pianist Arturo O'Farrill--and a marriage between, well...two married people. Bixler and O'Farrill, longtime band mates and label mates on Zoho Music, came together in 2006 to play a fundraiser at Bixler's daughter's school. Around the same time, Bixler's wife, Juilliard trained violinist Heather Martin Bixler, ...

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David Bixler and Arturo O'Farrill: The Auction Project

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Altoist and composer David Bixler leads The Auction Project, with Grammy-winning pianist Arturo O'Farrill, who has described this album as being “very much about colliding cultures." This may slightly overstate things but the album does represent what is, for jazz, a rather unusual meeting of cultures. Half of The Auction Project is devoted to Bixler's compositions, while the other half features tunes from the folk canon of the British Isles--the island of Ireland in particular. The key ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Bixler and Arturo O'Farrill: The Auction Project

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Stylistically, The Auction Project is slightly out-of-focus. It is ostensibly the meeting of Arturo O'Farrill's Irish-Latin roots at the corner of David Bixler and Heather Martin Bixler. However, there is much to endorse the music made here, not the least of which is the presence of the two Chico O'Farrill big band alumni. Bixler's “Heptagonesque" is the successful culmination of this Hispano-Celtic experiment, with its curious Middle Eastern flavor. Is it the curry? No, it's the violin. ...


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