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ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "Final Night at Birdland" reviewed by Jack Bowers

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Arturo O'Farrill: The Noguchi Sessions

Read "The Noguchi Sessions" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Arturo O'Farrill: 40 Acres And A Burro

Read "40 Acres And A Burro" reviewed by Edward Blanco

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, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Arturo O'Farrill: 40 Acres And A Burro

Read "40 Acres And A Burro" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

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"), ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Arturo O'Farrill: Risa Negra

Read "Risa Negra" reviewed by J Hunter

Pianist Arturo O'Farrill describes the music on Risa Negra as “Latin/jazz/funk/classical." By “accepted" standards, that means it won't fit into established musical pigeonholes; the Latin, funk, and jazz contingents won't go for it because of the classical angle, and the classical contingent won't go for it because ... well, there's something other than classical music involved. And that's why Risa is so terrific: instead of appealing to one audience, O'Farrill and his partners build a lush, rich meeting place where ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Arturo O'Farrill: Risa Negra

Read "Risa Negra" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

It's been said that music is universal. Pianist Arturo O'Farrill takes the concept a step further, bringing an ensemble representative of the universe known as Earth. O'Farrill won the 2009 Grammy in the Latin Jazz category for Song for Chico (Zoho, 2008), which also earned him the Best Latin Jazz Album award from Jazz Journalists Association. For Risa Negra, he brings in a diverse ensemble of musicians, representing the Caribbean, Midwestern United States, Latin America, Russia and India. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Arturo O'Farrill: Risa Negra

Read "Risa Negra" reviewed by Joel Roberts

Pianist, composer and bandleader Arturo O'Farrill is Latin jazz royalty. The son of the legendary Chico O'Farrill, whose collaborations with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie helped create the genre (and whose best-known composition, “Manteca," is reason enough for his status as a jazz icon), Arturo has long been a major innovator in his own right, with a 2009 Grammy for the most recent recording with his AfroLatin Jazz Orchestra to show for it. On Risa Negra, O'Farrill ...


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