All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

201

Arturo O'Farrill: Risa Negra

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Alto saxophonist David Bixler's quirky "Goat Check" opens with the sound of an animal bleating. Bixler leads, later joined by trumpeter Jim Seeley, with O'Farrill mostly in the background on Fender Rhodes. Bixler solos after Seeley's free-spirited feature, with O'Farrill then vigorously tickling the keys, accompanied only by bassist Boris Kozlov (who also solos) and drummer Vince Cherico.

Bixler's straightforward jazz composition, "The Darkness Is My Closest Friend," features a soft, elegant melody with alto sax and trumpet harmonizing. The piece warms up during Bixler's solo, with Kozlov, Cherico and O'Farrill keeping time but stretch out a bit as well. After several tours of the melody, the horns light up just before giving way to O'Farrill for a mellow, yet passionate middle solo.

O'Farrill's son, trumpeter Adam, joins the ensemble for "Crazy Chicken," another quirky piece. An all-in effort largely colored by the play of brother Zachary on drums and percussionist Roland Guerrero, the trumpeter may lead and solo, but everyone gets a moment to shine.

Arturo O'Farrill treats Risa Negra as a family affair, with his sons and wife, Alison Deane, contributing. The music deviates from his usual high-energy, Latin style, instead shifting this way and that—bordering on symphonic one moment and doing an about-face toward something avant-garde the next.

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).

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

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Alive In The East? CD/LP/Track Review
Alive In The East?
by Chris May
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Love Stone CD/LP/Track Review
Love Stone
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Empty Castles CD/LP/Track Review
Empty Castles
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Myths and Morals CD/LP/Track Review
Myths and Morals
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 22, 2018
Read The Sum Of My Pardon CD/LP/Track Review
The Sum Of My Pardon
by Jim Olin
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Postcard Collection CD/LP/Track Review
Postcard Collection
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 21, 2018
Read "Parting the Veil" CD/LP/Track Review Parting the Veil
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 15, 2018
Read "D'Agala" CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by John Sharpe
Published: January 28, 2018
Read "Twio" CD/LP/Track Review Twio
by Phil Barnes
Published: May 2, 2018
Read "Heartscape" CD/LP/Track Review Heartscape
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: October 8, 2017
Read "(Willisau) 1991 Studio" CD/LP/Track Review (Willisau) 1991 Studio
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 20, 2018
Read "Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk" CD/LP/Track Review Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk
by John Sharpe
Published: November 4, 2017