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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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Arturo O'Farrill: Risa Negra

Read "Risa Negra" reviewed by Mark Corroto

With his 2009 Grammy award in hand, pianist Arturo O'Farrill can finally step out from the very long shadow cast by his father, Afro-Cuban band leader Chico O'Farrill. On Risa Negra, it can be seen how quickly Arturo's children, trumpeter Adam O'Farrill (age 14) and drummer Zachary O'Farrill (age 17)--featured on one track--begin to peer out from the safety of dad's protective gaze.

This is a family album, it's just that O'Farrill's extended family heard here come from the Caribbean, ...

INTERVIEWS

Arturo O'Farrill: Upholding the Latin Tinge

Read "Arturo O'Farrill: Upholding the Latin Tinge" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

Arturo O'Farrill, an extraordinary pianist, admits he came out of the bebop school of playing, a Bud Powell disciple, and his strong chops would attest to that. He didn't pursue the music of his father--the great Chico O'Farrill--in his younger days, but he came upon it as he studied the music. He came to not only appreciate it, but his excellent bands embody it.

He's led two Latin big bands, one celebrating his father's music (the Chico O'Farrill ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Arturo O'Farrill Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra Live in Saratoga Springs, NY

Read "Arturo O'Farrill Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra Live in Saratoga Springs, NY" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

Arturo O'Farrill Afro Latin Jazz OrchestraSpa Little TheaterSaratoga Springs, New YorkMay 30, 2009

An array of Latin influences in music was presented by the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, led by pianist/composer/arranger Arturo O'Farrill, on May 30 at the Spa Little Theater in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Some Latin bands pretty much stay in the same vein. O'Farrill has his group--which won a Grammy this year for its latest recording--mining from multiple sources. They play ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Arturo O'Farrill & Claudia Acuna: In These Shoes

Read "In These Shoes" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

Friends sometimes make the best partners. It's a good formula for Arturo O'Farrill and Claudia Acuna, who collaborated for In These Shoes.O'Farrill, a 2006 Grammy nominee as a pianist, composer and arranger, has put his mark on Latin and jazz styles, often mixing both. Acuna, a singer from Chile, also fuses Latin and jazz and counts among her influences, Sarah Vaughan and Celia Cruz. Together, O'Farrill and Acuna combine the best of their respective worlds.The sassy ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Arturo O'Farrill & Claudia Acuna: In These Shoes

Read "In These Shoes" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Singer Claudia Acuna's style has been shaped by a wide range of influences. She started out singing Chilean pop and rock along with folk and opera. It seemed nothing was off limits. Jazz came calling when she came under the spell of Frank Sinatra and Sarah Vaughan, leading her to sit in with Wynton Marsalis, Danilo Perez and Michel Petrucciani when they visited Santiago. Acuna moved to New York City in 1995 and soon settled into a more permanent jazz ...