Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Arturo O’Farrill & Claudia Acuña: In These Shoes

From the opener and title track, “In These Shoes,” it is evident that these artists are truly testing the boundaries of musical categorization in this genre-defying pastiche of grooves and songs. Powerhouse pianist and arranger Arturo O’Farrill crafts an album of intricate and diverse textures, artfully supporting the crystalline and emotive vocals of Chilean singer Claudia Acuña. There is something for everyone here, from funk-driven Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican rhythms to rock ballads, samba, Haitian-inspired konpa and Venezuelan jazz-fusion.

With a stellar supporting cast of top-notch players such as drummer/composer Dafnis Prieto, percussionist/vocalist Pedrito Martinez, guitarist Adam Rogers, trumpeter Michael Mossman, trombonist Reynaldo Jorge, saxophonist Yosvany Terry and bassist Ruben Rodriguez, In These Shoes showcases a variety of repertoire not often seen in one recording, let alone in a single live performance. Standout tracks include lush and pretty ballad “Paciencia,” a funky and bluesy cha-cha version of “Willow Weep for Me” (featuring rollicking solos by O’Farrill and Terry), Prieto’s rock- and batá-infused samba “Vida Sin Miel” and the Angel “Cachete” Maldonado tune “La Piye,” which listeners may recall from the classic Puerto Rican group Batacumbele, and here features the vocal and percussion work of Pedrito Martínez as the album closer.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published