Chico O'Farrill Pure Emotion
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- Released: August 15, 1995
- Label: Milestone
Entertainment Weekly - 8/25-9/1/95, p.113"...this is 73-year-old Cuban-born O'Farrill's first recording in 30 years--and it's a stunner. Bright, bighearted, and danceable, O'Farrill's music should appeal to fans of both classic big-band sounds and Latin jazz." - Rating: A-
Down Beat - 11/95, p.464 Stars - Very Good - "...the charts...are models of fine craftsmanship--sophisticated, sonorous and consistently delightful--and the star-studded big band...bathes the material in the rich glow of something brighter than nostalgia..."
Option - 1-2/96, p.106"...stirring music for the body and soul..."
Village Voice (1/16/96) - Ranked #18 in the Village Voice's Best Jazz Discs of '95 - "...Afro-Cuban rhythms in the service of big-band arrangements..."
- 1.Igor's Dream
- 2.Pura Emocion
- 5.Variations On A Well Known Theme
- 6.Get Me To The Church On Time
- 7.En La Oscuridad
- 9.Chico And The Men
- 10.El Loco Blues
& His Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra.
Personnel: Chico O'Farrill (conductor); Arturo O'Farrill, Jr. (piano); Mario Rivera, Bob Franceschini, Lenny Hambro, Rolando Briceno, Pablo Calogero, Gerald Chamberlain, Papo Vasquez, Robin Eubanks, Earl McIntyre, Victor Paz, Michael Mossman, Jim Seeley, Dan Collette, Tim Ouimette, Jeffrey Scott, Sharon Moe, Andy Gonzalez, Manny Oquendo, Jerry Gonzalez, Steve Berrios, Elisabeth Monder.
Recorded in February 1995.
PURE EMOTION was nominated for a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Performance.
Personnel: Steve Berrios (quinto, drums, percussion); Mario Rivera, Bob Franceschini (flute, clarinet, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Lenny Hambro, Rolando Napoleon Briceno (flute, clarinet, alto saxophone); Pablo Calogero (baritone saxophone); Dan Collette, Tim Ouimette, Victor Paz, Michael Mossman, Jim Seeley (trumpet); Sharon Moe (French horn); Angel Papo Vasquez, Earl McIntyre, Gerald Chamberlain, Papo Vasquez, Robin Eubanks (trombone); Arturo O'Farrill (piano); Jerry Gonzalez (congas); Manny Oquendo (bongos, bells).
Audio Mixer: Michael Semanick.
Liner Note Authors: Todd Barkan; Bob Blumenthal.
Recording information: Clinton Recording Studios, Inc., New York, NY (02/1995).
Photographer: John Abbott .
Unknown Contributor Roles: Chico O'Farrill; Angel Papo Vasquez; Earl McIntyre; Elisabeth Monder; Gerald Chamberlain; Lenny Hambro; Rolando Napoleon Briceno; Dan Collette; Jerry Gonzalez; Manny Oquendo; Mario Rivera; Andy Gonz lez; Pablo Calogero; Robin Eubanks; Arturo O'Farrill; Steve Berrios; Victor Paz; Sharon Moe; Michael Mossman; Jim Seeley; Bob Franceschini; Tim Quimette.
Arranger: Chico O'Farrill.
After not having led a recording session under his own name in 29 years, O'Farrill came from seemingly out of nowhere to lead a terrific Afro-Cuban big band date on this CD. O'Farrill claims that he turned down offers to lead standard seven or eight-piece salsa bands on records over the years, preferring to wait until a big band opportunity came along - and clearly, he was bursting with accumulated charts dating from the 1960s through the 1990s. Not too much has changed since O'Farrill's exciting string of albums for Clef in the 1950s; if anything, his arranging hand has become surer, more sophisticated, thoroughly in touch as ever with a wide variety of influences. Most striking of all is how O'Farrill was able to build a fire underneath the musicians in the band, which includes leaders in their own right like trombonist Robin Eubanks, conguero Jerry Gonzalez and drummer Steve Berrios, as well as Tito Puente's tenor sax/flute player Mario Rivera and O'Farrill's son Arturo Jr. on piano. The most ambitious track is also the most entertaining one, an extended 1964 O'Farrill composition called "Variations on a Well-Known Theme" ("La Cucaracha"!) that deftly welds together various big band idioms, near-parodies of Muzak and television writing, and Afro-Cuban percussion workouts. Latin jazz fans will be pulverized and delighted by this recording. ~ Richard S. Ginell
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