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MUSICIAN Born:

Chico O'Farrill

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

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John Bailey: Can You Imagine?

Read "Can You Imagine?" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The world loves a good “what if..." story, so why not explore the idea of Dizzy Gillespie as president? The famed trumpeter actually ran for the highest office in the land in 1964. And though the move was largely in jest, he didn't shy away from the issues of the day while campaigning. Sadly, many of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Stan Kenton Orchestra / Trinity College: Concert Impressions

Read "Concert Impressions" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Here's another splendid two-disc anthology from Tantara Productions showcasing music from the capacious Stan Kenton library, performed on Disc 1 by the Kenton Orchestra circa 1972-76 and on Disc 2 by the Trinity College Big Band, Alumni Band and Symphony Orchestra in 2004 and 2007. Tantara has now released more than twenty albums, all devoted to ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Adam O'Farrill: El Maquech

Read "El Maquech" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

A due anni di distanza da Stranger Days, suo prodigioso debutto da leader con la Sunnyside, il 24enne Adam O'Farrill cambia l'etichetta ma non l'organico, confermando il quartetto col fratello Zack alla batteria, il sassofonista Chad Lewkowitz-Brown e il bassista Walter Stinson. Nipote del leggendario bandleader cubano Chico O'Farrill e figlio del pianista Arturo, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Thomas Marriott: Romance Language

Read "Romance Language" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Trumpeter Thomas Marriott moved back to Seattle after the requisite New York stint, where he worked with Maynard Ferguson's Big Bop Nouveau band, the Chico O'Farrill Orchestra, and vibraphonist Joe Locke. Back on west coast home ground, he connected with the Seattle-based Origin Records, where he released ten top-notch albums as a leader, including Individuation (2005), ...

ARTICLE: BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Bailey’s Bundle – Seven Women (Plus Three) 2018 – Part IX

Read "Bailey’s Bundle – Seven Women (Plus Three) 2018 – Part IX" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Yilian Cañizares and Omar Sosa Aguas Ota Records 2018 Pianist/composer Omar Sosa has established himself as a pioneer at the edge of Cubano-Caribbean music. Sosa teams with violinist/vocalist Yilian Cañizares for a breezy and sensual stroll through 11 original, for lack of a better term, world music compositions that are as ...


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