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Live In Brooklyn

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Album Review

Despite the Young Lion movement of the '80s, '90s, and 2000s, jazz isn't nearly as youth-obsessed as rock, dance-pop, or rap. Jazz is full of talented people who were late bloomers in some respect — singers and instrumentalists who spent considerable time in the shed and might have been 35, 40, or even older the first time they composed original material, landed a recording contract, or recorded an album as a leader. Arturo O'Farrill certainly didn't start recording as a leader right away; the acoustic pianist was in his late thirties when, in 1999, he provided his first album as a leader, Blood Lines. Although Arturo O'Farrill is the son of the late bandleader/arranger/composer Chico O'Farrill, he didn't inundate listeners with Afro-Cuban rhythms on Blood Lines; he used them more sparingly than Poncho Sanchez, Tito Puente, or Machito. And the same is true of Live in Brooklyn, a post-bop/hard bop disc that was recorded in a New York City club called the Up Over Jazz Café in 2003. These performances find O'Farrill forming an acoustic piano trio with bassist Andy Gonzalez and drummer Dafnis Prieto; all three of the musicians have Latin credentials, but even so, Afro-Cuban elements are used in moderation when they're used at all. In fact, one needs to pay close attention to hear the Latin influence when the trio turns its attention to Wayne Shorter's "Footprints" and Gonzalez's "Vieques." Other highlights of this 56-minute CD range from Thelonious Monk's "Well, You Needn't" and Horace Silver's "Peace" to two abstract Carla Bley compositions: "Utviklinsang" and "Walking Battery Woman." Live in Brooklyn falls short of exceptional, but it's a decent and noteworthy document of O'Farrill and his colleagues on-stage in 2003.


Born: 22 June 1960 in Havana, Cuba

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

A veteran figure of the Afro-Cuban jazz movement, Arturo O'Farrill was born in Cuba and grew up in New York City. The son of big-band leader Chico O'Farrill, Arturo was educated at the Manhattan School of Music and the Brooklyn College Conservatory. From 1979-1983, he played piano with the Carla Bley Big Band. O'Farrill then went on to develop his skills as a solo performer with a wide spectrum of artists, including Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Papo Vazquez, the Fort Apache Band,...
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Live In Brooklyn, Arturo O'Farrill
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