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

This is the 1st of your 3 free articles

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

Latin Jazz Orchestra: Havana Blues

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Havana Blues pairs veteran composer/conductor/arranger Chico O’Farrill with the Rodríguez-Rendún Latin Jazz Orchestra for a second recording of vintage Latin jazz. While there are no surprises, this cd reveals big band Latin jazz at its most exuberant. Armando Rodríguez and Victor Rendún met at the University of North Texas in the ’70s, and put the band together in New York City after each spent a decade as sidemen. Included in the lineup are some of the New York latin scene’s most celebrated players, such as bassist Andy Gonzalez and trumpeter Victor Paz.

The two band leaders and Chico O’Farrill add their own compositions to those written by a healthy assortment of Latin and jazz artists, such as Chick Corea’s “Guajira,” Augustin Lara’s “Palabras de Mujer,” and Jimmy Rowles’ “The Cobra.” Horace Silver’s “Where You At?” yields nicely to the clave and gives Arturo O’Farrill’s rock steady montuno some legroom. “Havana Blues” harks back to the Palladium days in the ’50s, when the word “fusion” had nothing but good connotations.