- Released: August 24, 1999
- Label: Milestone
JazzTimes - 1-2/00, pp.98,100
"...The playing here is as magnificent as the writing....conveys brilliance and excitement throughout....O'Farrill's artistic muse and craftsmanship remain top-notch."
- 3.Verde Campina, La
- 4.Sing Your Blues Away (For Neca)
- 5.Guaguasi Abstracto
- 6.Trumpet Fantasy
- 7.Chico's Cha Cha Cha
- 8.Te Quiero Dijiste
- 10.Locos de la Habana
- 11.Sin Tu Amor
- 12.Pure Emotion
- 13.Fin de Siglo
- 14.The Journey
Personnel: Chico O'Farrill (conductor, arranger); Jimmy Cozier, Marshall McDonald, Bobby Porcelli (alto saxophone); Mike Migliore, Peter Brainin (tenor saxophone); Pablo Calogero (baritone saxophone); Jim Seeley, Matt Hilgenburg, Roger Ingram, Kenny Rampton, Peter Olstad, David "Piro" Rodriguez (trumpet); Gary Valente, Sam Burtis, Papo Vazquez, Jack Jeffers (trombone); Arturo O'Farrill (piano); Andy Gonzalez, Joe Santiago (bass); Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Willie Martinez (drums); Eddie Bobe (bongos, percussion); Joe Gonzalez (congas).
Producers: Jorge Ulla, Todd Barkan, Arturo O'Farrill.
Recorded at Clinton Recording Studios, New York, New York in December 1998 and in June & July 1999. Includes liner notes by Oscar Hijuelos, Enrique Fernandez and Nat Chediak
HEART OF A LEGEND was nominated for the 2000 Latin Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album.
Personnel: Eddie Bobe (vocals, congas, bongos, guiro, timbales, percussion); Freddy Cole, Vivian Ara (vocals); David Oquendo (guitar); Ilmar Gavilan (violin); Mauricio Smith (flute, clarinet); Mario Rivera (clarinet, soprano saxophone); Paquito d'Rivera (clarinet, alto saxophone); Mario Rivers (soprano saxophone); Jimmy Cozier, Bobby Porcelli, Marshall McDonald (alto saxophone); Gato Barbieri, Peter Brainin, Mike Migliore (tenor saxophone); Pablo Calogero (baritone saxophone); Peter Olstad, Matt Hilgenberg, Kenny Rampton, Chocolate Armenteros, Piro Rodriguez, Arturo Sandoval, Jim Seeley, Roger Ingram (trumpet); Gary Valente, Gary Valentine, Juan Pablo Torres, Papo Vazquez, Sam Burtis, Jack Jeffers (trombone); Arturo O'Farrill (piano); Willie Martinez, Horacio "El Negro" Hern ndez (drums); Joe Gonzalez (congas, bongos); Carlos "Patato" Valdes (congas, maracas); Candido Camero (congas).
Liner Note Authors: Oscar Hijuelos; Nat Chediak; Enrique Fernandez.
Director: Arturo O'Farrill.
Arranger: Chico O'Farrill.
The campaign to punch Chico O'Farrill into the general consciousness continues with what amounts to an anthology of his work, all freshly and brilliantly played by the Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Band directed by his pianist son Arturo. The material on hand goes back to a 1956 cha-cha written on a plane ride to Havana, but the unifying thread is a suite from the film Guaguasi scattered in pieces throughout the album. It is an often astonishingly diverse portrait of O'Farrill, reflecting not only his percolating Afro-Cuban rhythmic base but also some of his other musical directions. There is a Basie-style big-band blues, "Sing Your Blues Away," with Freddie Cole doing a credible job as velvety blues shouter; a lightweight, fluffy thing called "Te Quiero" with flute/female choruses and a lascivious Gato Barbieri on tenor; and a recent Latin jazz suite of relatively modest proportions, "Trumpet Fantasy (For Wynton)." The best stuff comes early on: the marvelous "Theme From Guaguasi," a heartfelt Afro-Cuban workout in 6/8 time called "Momentum," which is really a renamed piece inspired by the 1962 Cuban missile crisis ("Cuban Conflagration") that was rescued from oblivion for this album. Several other famous Latin jazz names turn up in fine form: Paquito D'Rivera, Cachao, Candido, Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros, Carlos "Patato" Valdes, and, in a closing duet, Arturo O'Farrill and Arturo Sandoval. There are a lot of board fades on these tracks, a highly unusual practice in the '90s on a jazz album. Though not as essential as Pure Emotion, this CD confirms the continued vitality of this 77-year-old master. ~ Richard S. Ginell