Home » Jazz Articles » Arturo O'Farrill: Risa Negra

405

Album Review

Arturo O'Farrill: Risa Negra

By

Sign in to view read count
Arturo O'Farrill: Risa Negra
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, Midwest, Latin America, Russia, and India. As was heard with his father's generation, Latin jazz has the ability to swallow multinational amounts of music and make it fit into its clave. This is best demonstrated by "Table Rasa," a two-movement suite that begins el salon Cuba, with a simple parlor piano piece that evolves into a tasty Latin groove, as trumpeter Jim Seeley trades solos with flutist Cecilia Tenconi. The suite continues with "Tintal Tintal Deo" morphing into an Indian tabla feature for guest Badal Roy. The former Miles Davis alum delivers a konakol (Indian vocal percussion) solo before the band returns with a melting pot of Afro-Cuban jazz fusion.

The recording transcends classifiable music genres. Like great jazz visionaries, O'Farrill's appetite is large. The horns are concise, and chocked full of swing, evidenced by Seeley and saxophonist David Bixler tearing through "One Adam 12 Mambo" and "Ceviche." The band hits upon a bit of funk, with O'Farrill on electric piano and Boris Kozlov sporting electric bass, on "Goat Check," a hip piece of roadhouse music. Kozlov sticks with electric and trades solos with acoustic bassist Ricardo Rodriguez on "Blue State Blues," another certain crowd favorite that finds each player dropping musical quotes that become infectious, as the horn players drop nods to their swinging jazz ancestors.

Adam O'Farrill displays the family genetics on his "Crazy Chicken." The five-minute piece features a complex melody that slows down, allowing him to display some very nice playing with his brother Zachary accenting time on the skins.

Father Arturo wraps the disc up with a solo piece, "Alisonia," a honeyed and thoughtfully reflective song that displays his more mellow side. Not unlike something that could be mistaken for a Bill Evans composition, it is a fitting end to a spirited recording.

Track Listing

One Ada 12 Mambo; Goat Check; Blue State Blues; The Darkness Is My Closest Friend; No Way Off; Crazy Chicken; Tabla Rasa : El Salon Cubano; Tabla Rasa: Tintal Tintal Deo, Ceviche; Alisonia.

Personnel

Arturo O'Farrill: piano, Fender Rhodes piano; Jim Seeley: trumpet; David Bixler: alto sax; Boris Koslov: acoustic and electric bass (1-5, 9, 10); Vince Cherico: drums (1-5, 7-10); Roland Guerrero: percussion; Ivan Renta: tenor sax (3, 6); Ricky Rodriguez: acoustic bass (3, 6-8); Alison Deane: piano (5, 7, 8); Badal Roy: tablas (8); Cecelia Tenconi: flute (7, 8); Heather Bixler: violin (8); Adam O'Farrill: trumpet (6); Zachary O'Farrill: drums (6).

Album information

Title: Risa Negra | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Zoho Music

Post a comment about this album


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Tags

More

Heavy Hitters
The Heavy Hitters
Made in Miami
Camilo Valencia/Richard Bravo
The Pan American Nutcracker Suite
Joe McCarthy's New York Afro Bop Alliance Big Band
Gordon Grdina's The Twain feat. Dōjō and...
Gordon Grdina's The Twain feat. Dōjō and...

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.