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The Offense of the Drum

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
While bandleader and pianist Arturo O'Farrill has always sought to preserve the legacy of Latin jazz, he's never been one to do so it for its own sake, but always for evolutionary purposes. The Offense of the Drum features his 18-piece Afro-Latin Jazz band -- a whopping 28 percussion instruments from all over the globe -- and a notable host of collaborators including Donald Harrison and Vijay Iyer. The program highlights the cultural sounds and prismatic influences of South America, Spain, and the Caribbean in modern jazz. "Cuarto de Colores" weds the Brazilian, Colombian and Afro-Cuban rhythms to post-bop big-band jazz. Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda, trumpeter Jonathan ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
While bandleader and pianist Arturo O'Farrill has always sought to preserve the legacy of Latin jazz, he's never been one to do so it for its own sake, but always for evolutionary purposes. The Offense of the Drum features his 18-piece Afro-Latin Jazz band -- a whopping 28 percussion instruments from all over the globe -- and a notable host of collaborators including Donald Harrison and Vijay Iyer. The program highlights the cultural sounds and prismatic influences of South America, Spain, and the Caribbean in modern jazz. "Cuarto de Colores" weds the Brazilian, Colombian and Afro-Cuban rhythms to post-bop big-band jazz. Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda, trumpeter Jonathan Powell, and O'Farrill all deliver excellent solos. "They Came" weds spoken word from Chilo Cajigas and reggaeton -- via DJ Logic's turntablism -- to modern big-band jazz. "On the Corner of Malecón and Bourbon" digs deep into the intersections of Latin music and jazz histories. The blues in NOLA's legacy are present in the trumpet, but that's only the beginning; there are stops along the way throughout the evolution of jazz -- including a momentary stop at free -- and second-line, as Spanish melody and Caribbean rhythms provide extensive harmonic colors and rhythmic accents. Iyer's "The Mad Hatter" was written for O'Farrill. Here, strident, knotty rhythmic lines cut across angular lyric melodies and layered harmonies with fantastic solos by the composer and trumpeter Seneca Black. The set's hinge piece is the title track, a suite inspired by the banning of drum circles in New York City. Stringent contrapuntal brass sections work against the djembe for an extended period before O'Farrill's piano signals detente. Chad Lefkowitz-Brown's saxophone solo, followed by the pulsing interplay of djembe and deep-toned Japanese taiko drums, begins to open the work up from the inside. Drums begin to dominate in the second section even as the brass attempts to regain control. Eventually, the two lines intersect in a wild, colorful, songlike celebration in the final segment. The closer is a reading of "Iko Iko" with Harrison. Perhaps no other tune better reflects the commingling of Afro-Latin music as it was translated to North America through the variety of textures, cadences, carnival rhythms, and melodies of the Caribbean. The staggered brass and reed sections meet and greet the drums as they march, strut, swagger, and swing. By virtue of its disciplined execution, cultural queries, and celebratory inspiration, The Offense of the Drum is not only O'Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra's most ambitious moment to date, but its finest on record.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/6/2014
  • Label: Motema Music
  • UPC: 181212001426
  • Catalog Number: 142
  • Sales rank: 3,555

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Cuarto De Colores (9:13)
  2. 2 They Came - Christopher "Chilo" Cajigas (7:26)
  3. 3 On the Corner of Malecón and Bourbon (9:45)
  4. 4 Mercado En Domingo - Nestor Gómez (6:56)
  5. 5 Gnossienne 3 (Tientos) - Antonio Lizana (6:28)
  6. 6 The Mad Hatter (8:26)
  7. 7 The Offense of the Drum - Ayanda Clarke (11:40)
  8. 8 Alma Vacía (6:22)
  9. 9 Iko Iko (7:02)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra Primary Artist
Donald Harrison Alto Saxophone, Vocals, Soloist, Guest Appearance
Earl McIntyre Tuba, Bass Trombone
Bobby Porcelli Alto Saxophone, Soloist, Lead
Vince Cherico Drums
Peter Brainin Tenor Saxophone
Vijay Iyer Piano, Soloist, Guest Appearance
Miguel Blanco Conductor, Guest Appearance
Arturo O'Farrill Piano, Soloist, Indexed Contributor
Frank Cohen Trombone, Soloist
DJ Logic Turntables, Guest Appearance
Pablo Mayor Conductor, Maracas, Guest Appearance
Jason Lindner Conductor, Guest Appearance
Jim Seeley Trumpet, Soloist
Samuel Torres Conductor, Cajon, Guest Appearance
Jonathan Powell Trumpet, Soloist
Rafi Malkiel Trombone, Euphonium, Soloist
Ivan Renta Tenor Saxophone, Soloist, Lead
Gregg August Bass, Soloist
John Bailey Trumpet, Soloist
Seneca Black Trumpet, Soloist, Lead
Uri Sharlin Accordion, Guest Appearance
David DeJesus Alto Saxophone
Jason Marshall Baritone Saxophone, Soloist
Roland Guerrero Conga
Joe Gonzales Bongos
Edmar Castaneda Harp, Soloist, Guest Appearance
Antonio Lizana Alto Saxophone, Vocals, Soloist, Guest Appearance
Nestor Gómez Percussion, Guest Appearance
Chad Lefkowitz-Brown Tenor Saxophone, Soloist, Guest Appearance
Tokunori Kajiwara Trombone, Lead
Pablo O. Bilbraut Percussion, Guest Appearance
Hiro Kurashima taiko, Soloist, Guest Appearance
Jonathan Gómez Percussion, Guest Appearance
Ayanda Clarke Djembe, Soloist, Guest Appearance
Christopher "Chilo" Cajigas Spoken Word, Guest Appearance
Technical Credits
Erik Satie Composer
Todd Barkan Producer
Katherine Miller Engineer
Alan Silverman Mastering
Vijay Iyer Composer
Miguel Blanco Arranger, Composer
Arturo O'Farrill Composer, Producer, Musical Director
Pablo Mayor Composer
Jason Lindner Composer
Samuel Torres Arranger
James "Sugarboy" Crawford Composer
Todd Bashore Arranger
Edmar Castaneda Composer
Kabir Sehgal Producer, Liner Notes, Executive Producer
Eric Oberstein Producer
Christopher "Chilo" Cajigas Composer
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