This is a pleasant but unchallenging album by a quintet co-led by two mainstays of the Lincoln Center's Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra: pianist and composer Arturo O'Farrill (son of the great composer/arranger Chico O'Farrill) and trumpeter Jim Seeley.
The music is, as one would expect, mostly Latin-based or straight-ahead. But given the pedigrees and previous accomplishments of both leaders much more was expected. One comes away from listening to this album with the feeling that one has heard it all before.
"Stormy Night" is a particularly nice mid-tempo Latin number featuring Seeley's muted trumpet and the flute of Jed Levy, whose tenor sax solos are some of the highlights of the album. "Solita," a samba-inspired tune, also showcases the very fine bassist Andy Gonzalez to great advantage.
Most of the tunes on the album were composed by Seeley, who shows himself to be a competent composer. It would have been nice to hear some tunes composed by O'Farrill as well. I did like O'Farrill's electric piano work, which gives the album a certain retro quality that is especially in evidence in the funk-inspired "Forest Path."
At under fifty minutes in length, this album seems a little short by CD standards. The impression is left that the CD is more of a demo, showcasing the type of music that the group performs, rather than blazung any new territory. And the album is not the best engineered effort I have ever heard. The balance of the instruments seems way off at times.
Musically, there is really nothing to fault in this recording. But in a blindfold test, I think it would be very possible for auditors to assume that it was a Blue Note re-release from the late 1950s or early 1960s. There is too much of the Wynton Marsalis/Lincoln Center jazz-repertory-preserved-in-amber aesthetic in evidence. Seeley and O'Farrill are much too talented for that and the world of jazz deserves better.
Track Listing: Truth Juice; Solita; Starry Night; Little General; Forest Path; New Meaning; Cha-Cha Un-Uh;
Personnel: Jim Seeley: trumpet; Arturo O'Farrill: electric and acoustic piano; Jed Levy: tenor
saxophone, flute; Andy Gonzalez: acoustic bass; Phoenix Rivera: drums, percussion.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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