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Album Review

Pianist Bill O'Connell presents the debut of his Latin Jazz Project, which mainly features bassists Andy Gonzalez and Charles Fambrough, drummer Steve Berrios, and percussionist Milton Cardona. Alto and soprano saxophonist Joe Ford appears on four tracks and is quite marvelous on "Trepidation"; other notable guests include trumpeter Randy Brecker (on "Black Sand" and "Kidz") and flutist Dave Valentin (on "Blue Brazil"). O'Connell's tunes are richly melodic and harmonically involved, not to mention beautifully recorded. The bouncy, knotty complexity of his piano playing sometimes brings Chick Corea to mind. Only with the finale, a funky reading of Cole Porter's "It's Alright With Me," does O'Connell depart from original material. While the program grows a bit repetitive at times, there are a number of remarkable cuts, such as the opening, hard-swinging "Latin Jazz," the vocal chant-based "Obakoso" (co-written with Cardona), the stripped-down piano/chekere piece "Fire Dance," and the perversely off-kilter "Son of a Montuno." (It would seem that "Iguana," with its title and its familiar funk vamp, is a knowing nod to Herbie Hancock's "Chameleon.") ~ David R. Adler, Rovi

Customer Reviews

A recording standing in front of the genre

Bill O'Connell demonstrates tremendous depth and maturity on this latin jazz project , true to all the greatest progressive movements in jazz today. Bill's sense of rhythm in his comping as well as ensemble writing , shows him as a true leader in this genre. What a lineup of great players

Top Albums and Songs by Bill O'Connell Latin Jazz Project

Black Sand, Bill O'Connell Latin Jazz Project
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