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Arturo O’Farrill: Live in Brooklyn

Arturo O’Farrill’s high-profile gig as the leader of the Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, not to mention his bloodline heritage as son of Latin jazz pioneer Chico O’Farrill, would lead you to expect an emphasis on Latin-influenced music when it comes to his own projects. A cursory peak at the pianist’s resume reveals a three-year run with Carla Bley’s big band as well as work with Lester Bowie, among other less predictable associations. Despite the weighty Latin-jazz credentials that O’Farrill shares with trio-mates, bassist Andy Gonzalez and Cuban-drummer Dafnis Prieto, Live in Brooklyn exhibits the wide swath of jazz idioms that all three players are comfortable with.

Gonzalez’s “Vieques” and an adaptation of Thelonious Monk’s “Well You Needn’t” may find the trio in a recognizably Latin groove, but Carla Bley’s “Walking Batterie Woman” leads them down a free-jazz path. Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints” teases out a modern swing charge, and Horace Silver’s “Peace” and Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood” showcase exemplary mainstream ballad improvisation.

In addition to its own inherent musical pleasures, Live in Brooklyn makes a convincing case for the foolishness of instinctively pigeonholing resourceful artists.

Originally Published