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Musician

Chico O'Farrill

Born:

For over half a century, he was one of a pantheon of innovators who fused the soul-wrenching rhythms of African Cuba with the sweet harmonies of American jazz. Longtime admirers of the Latin jazz genre know O’Farrill as a master of sweeping, symphonic compositions that embraced his love of Debussy, Stravinsky, and the mambo; and as a bandleader who keeps alive the roar of a full dance band, as conductor of the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Band, which played New York’s Birdland every Sunday night. For much of his career he worked quietly in the background, crafting music that became a showcase for others: "Undercurrent Blues" for Benny Goodman; “Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite” for Charlie Parker and the Machito orchestra; “Trumpet Fantasy,” premiered at Lincoln Center in 1996 with soloist Wynton Marsalis; and more than 80 arrangements for Count Basie. His life began in Havana in 1921, where O’Farrill was born into a genteel Irish-German-Cuban family

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Article: Take Five With...

Take Five With Renée Manning

Read "Take Five With Renée Manning" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Meet Renée Manning Widely celebrated vocalist/composer, Renée Manning, has been educating students ages 2 to 100 years for the past 35 years. During her 10 years as instructor and Vocal Chair at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, she has been awarded several grants including Met Life grants for her choral work with Prospect Hill Senior Center, ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Large Jazz Ensembles, Past And Present

Read "Large Jazz Ensembles, Past And Present" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


This show on jazz orchestras and big bands begins and ends with Duke Ellington. In between, it includes Michael Gibbs, Count Basie, the Either/Orchestra, Chico O'Farrill, George Russell and several others. Playlist Henry Threadgill Sextett “I Can't Wait Till I Get Home" from The Complete Novus & Columbia Recordings of Henry Threadgill & Air ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Latin It All Hang Out

Read "Latin It All Hang Out" reviewed by Patrick Burnette


We start off season ten with neither a bang nor a whimper, but rather the sound of exotic auxiliary percussion and the screams of excitable brass. It's a show devoted to “Latin" music in its many guises, both smooth and bumptious, with looks at an early innovator in the jazz field, a couple of main stream ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Adam O'Farrill: Removing the external

Read "Adam O'Farrill: Removing the external" reviewed by Leo Sidran


Trumpet player / composer / bandleader Adam O'Farrill on belonging to a rich musical legacy (he is the grandson of Chico O'Farrill and son of Arturo O'Farrill), how video games, literature and most of all the films of Paul Thomas Anderson and scored of Ryuichi Sakamoto have informed his work, what he learned from working with ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Charlie Parker: Ten High Flying Albums Of Paradigm Shifting Genius

Read "Charlie Parker: Ten High Flying Albums Of Paradigm Shifting Genius" reviewed by Chris May


Born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1920, and brought up across the state line in anything-goes, jazz-friendly Kansas City, Missouri, controlled from the mid 1920s to the late 1930s by the spectacularly corrupt politician Tom Prendergast, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker lived fast and hard and passed in 1955, aged only 34 years. A founding father of ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums

Read "Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums" reviewed by Chris May


There can be little argument that a jazz label ever captured a zeitgeist more completely than Impulse! did during its original 1960s incarnation. In the US, the fight back against white racism was cresting, opposition to the Vietnam war was growing, outrage over the assassinations of figures of hope such as President Kennedy, Martin Luther King ...

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Article: Interview

Alexa Tarantino: Passion For Playing And Teaching

Read "Alexa Tarantino: Passion For Playing And Teaching" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Alexa Tarantino was bitten by the jazz bug at a young age. She was fortunate to grow up in a community where jazz is an important part of the musical fabric—rare these days. She swiftly grabbed hold of the music and has developed into an in-demand alto saxophonist, earning a series of high-profile gigs that slowed ...

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Article: Under the Radar

The Archive of Contemporary Music

Read "The Archive of Contemporary Music" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


In Lower Manhattan, sits a musical gold mine. It's the motherlode of recorded music though the small, brightly colored sign above a grey steel door provides only a cryptic clue. The dusty window display of rare 78 RPM records, broken into erratic pie charts serves as a vestige of the past and a cautionary tale about ...

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Article: Album Review

John Bailey: Can You Imagine?

Read "Can You Imagine?" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Letting his imagination roam free, trumpeter John Bailey envisions a world in which one of his musical touchstones, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, is president of the United States--one in which Gillespie's cabinet includes Duke Ellington (secretary of state), Louis Armstrong (secretary of agriculture) and Miles Davis (CIA director). The fact is, Gillespie did “run" for president in ...


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