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Triple Play

Bill O'Connell

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Album Review

Bill O'Connell's seventh CD as a leader is full of catchy themes in a Jazz Latino (as opposed to Latin jazz) setting, according to liner note writer Felipe Luciano. The pianist, who is well accompanied by flutist Dave Valentin and Latin percussionist Richie Flores, starts off with his intense, driving "Triple Play." Things cool with the hip, infectious "Flying By," with Valentin's playful flute dancing over O'Connell's soulful Latin groove. The pianist's "A Call for Sanity" has a wistful air with Valentin switching to alto flute, while "Second Son" is a sauntering gem with its share of surprising twists. O'Connell also engages each player in a duet. Flores is his partner for a ridiculously fast romp through the standard "Just in Time," as the pianist tears into the piece with a well-disguised improvised introduction. Valentin is on hand for the slow, rhapsodic treatment of Mongo Santamaria's signature tune, "Afro Blue," though the familiar rhythm is omitted, opting instead to emphasize the melody in a more free-form manner. However one labels the style of jazz featured in Triple Play, there's no doubt that this CD will stand the test of time.

Biography

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A veteran post-bop/Latin jazz/hard bop pianist from New York City, the Bill O'Connell profiled in this bio should not be confused with the swing/bop drummer who has led the Chicago Skyliners Big Band in the Windy City in the '90s and 2000s; nor should he be confused with rock manager Billy O'Connell, who is married to singer/songwriter Kristin Hersh (formerly of the alternative pop/rock group Throwing Muses). Pianist O'Connell has his share of Latin credentials; along the way, he has played with...
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Triple Play, Bill O'Connell
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