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Cuban Blues: The Chico O'Farill Sessions

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Album Review

For any and all Latin jazz collectors, casual or serious, this is a fabulous deal, for it gathers together no less than six exceedingly rare Chico O'Farrill Clef and Norgran 10" albums, plus one under Machito's name, onto a slimline two-CD set. It will also come as a revelation to anyone who might scoff at anything associated with the 1950s mambo craze, for these discs reveal O'Farrill as a sophisticated, even daring arranger/composer who reached beyond merely providing a beat for dancers. Many of these charts — whether for the brief, dance-oriented Latin numbers; ultra-familiar standards like "Malaguena" and "The Peanut Vendor"; or jazz tunes — are loaded with intricate figures and striking harmonies obviously gleaned from classical study, all crisply executed with a brash, shiny edge by his Afro-Cuban groups and bands staffed by American jazzmen. Occasionally, he even conjures a delicate, classical ambience from a number like "Angels' Flight" (named after Los Angeles' legendary downtown funicular). The apotheosis of O'Farrill's experiments are his two full-blown, groundbreaking Afro-Cuban jazz suites. The first features Flip Phillips and the redoubtable Charlie Parker as soloists within the Machito band, and the second is even bolder in its zigzag journey through the classical, Latin, and jazz camps. Yet for all of his erudition, O'Farrill never forgets to ask for madly percolating Afro-Cuban grooves from his rhythm teams — which clinches the deal for any Latin music fan. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi


Born: 28 October 1921 in Havana, Cuba

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '90s

Chico O'Farrill was right in the thick of the Afro-Cuban and Latin waves that hit jazz in the late '40s and '50s. His sophisticated writing for Latin big bands of the early '50s was often bold, brassy, and tense, yet he could also achieve a delicate, almost classical ambience in such pieces as "Angels' Flight" and work capably in larger forms (the groundbreaking "Afro-Cuban Jazz Suites"). O'Farrill took up the trumpet while in military school in Georgia, returning to Cuba as a full-fledged jazz...
Full bio
Cuban Blues: The Chico O'Farill Sessions, Chico O'Farrill
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  • 14,99 €
  • Genres: World, Music, Jazz, Latin Jazz, Bop
  • Released: 01 January 1996

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