All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

2

Arturo O'Farrill: The Noguchi Sessions

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist Arturo O'Farrill has been around the block a few times and is rightly respected for his role in elevating the Latin big band genre, but he has shied away from the idea of recording a solo piano album for a long time. In the fall of 2011, O'Farrill found himself sitting behind a Steinway piano in a museum, ready to finally take the plunge, but he wasn't really alone as he placed his fingers on the keys. He was surrounded by the art-work and creations of Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi, whose work served as an inspiration for this project.

Noguchi, who worked as a "sculptor, painter, draftsman, and designer of everything from household goods to large public spaces," never bought into the idea of labeling or strict categorization. His work reflected his own personality and he found comfort in juxtaposing the refined against the raw. O'Farrill found much to admire in both of those ideals, which manifest themselves in this music.

Rhapsodic passages, rubato-laden episodes and racing runs intersect frequently during this journey, as O'Farill performs original music and explores the work of such odd bedfellows as Ernesto Lecuona, Stephen Foster, Randy Weston and Charles Mingus. Several of the early original entries on the program, like "The Sun At Midnight" and "In Whom," come off as queries of musical curiosity, as O'Farrill searches for answers embedded within the keys. This music uses uncertainty as a communicative device, but O'Farrill is more emphatic in other places. He proudly displays his Cuban roots on "Siboney," mines Weston's "Little Niles" for all it's worth and puts on his best display of parlor playing on Mingus' "Jelly Roll."

While O'Farrill's ever-moving work holds interest throughout, he saves the best for last. The flawless foursome that closes out the album—the gliding "Mi Vida," spicy "Obsesion," ruminative-turned-spirited "Oh Danny Boy" and jovial "Jelly Roll"—demonstrates the scope of his talent as a solo pianist. O'Farrill need not have waited to so long to work in this fashion. It appears to suit him well.

Track Listing: The Sun At Midnight; O' Susanna; In Whom; Little Niles; The Delusion Of The Greedy; Siboney; Alisonia; Once I Had A Secret Meditation; Mi Vida; Obsesion; Oh Danny Boy; Jelly Roll.

Personnel: Arturo O'Farrill: piano.

Title: The Noguchi Sessions | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Zoho Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Familia: Tribute to Bebo & Chico

Familia: Tribute to...

Motéma Music
2017

buy
Offense of The Drum

Offense of The Drum

Motema Music
2014

buy
Risa Negra

Risa Negra

Zoho Music
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Lifelike CD/LP/Track Review
Lifelike
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Whatever Possessed Me CD/LP/Track Review
Whatever Possessed Me
by Don Phipps
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live At The Fillmore East 1968 CD/LP/Track Review
Live At The Fillmore East 1968
by Doug Collette
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "Poetry from the Future" CD/LP/Track Review Poetry from the Future
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 5, 2017
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 5, 2017
Read "All You Gotta Do" CD/LP/Track Review All You Gotta Do
by Doug Collette
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Malnoia" CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Cross My Palm With Silver" CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Peaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack Tempchin" CD/LP/Track Review Peaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack Tempchin
by Doug Collette
Published: September 3, 2017