by Chico O'Farrill


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The astounding comeback of Chico O'Farrill at age 79 continued with this terrific collection of mostly Afro-Cuban styled compositions -- some brand-new, some more than half a century old. Originally written for Dizzy Gillespie, the swinging title tune takes on a more complex Afro-Cuban treatment this time, with Michael Mossman capably taking on the trumpet work. "The Aztec Suite," written for Art Farmer, comes together smoothly and cohesively, with even more spectacular work by Mossman -- and "Crazy City (...But I Love It)" is "Gone City" (recorded by Machito in 1949) in a more refined, shipshape, somewhat less frantic performance. The oldest piece, "Oye Mi Rumba" (1945), lures singer Graciela out of retirement for some endearingly authentic atmosphere. Don't overlook newer material like O'Farrill's treatment of "Delirio" -- a beautiful bolero, very sophisticated in harmony -- and "Rhapsody for Two Islands," a flamboyant little piece designed to evoke Cuba and Manhattan with a sudden, broadly-paced solo piano break that explicitly quotes "Rhapsody in Blue." Yet the highlight of the CD is undoubtedly the amazingly successful re-recording of O'Farrill's visionary "Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite," 50 years after the original Machito version was cut. His crisply executing 21st Century orchestra makes the material seem even more emotionally moving than before, although you do miss the impossibly fluid alto of Charlie Parker (guest soloist Mario Rivera makes an honorable stab at Bird's part) and irreplaceably wild Buddy Rich drums from the Machito record. This is a must-hear for Latin jazz lovers.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/03/2000
Label: Milestone
UPC: 0025218930826
catalogNumber: 9308
Rank: 279442

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Chico O'Farrill   Primary Artist,Conductor
Michael Philip Mossman   Trumpet
Papo Vazquez   Trombone
John Benítez   Bass
Steve Berrios   Percussion,Conga,Drums,Maracas,Timbales,Claves,Bata,Shekere
Sam Burtis   Trombone
Vincent Chancey   French Horn
Jimmy Cozier   Saxophone
Andy González   Bass
Joe Gonzalez   Bongos,Bells
Graciela Peréz Grillo   Vocals
Jack Jeffers   Trombone
Victor Jones   Drums
Lewis Kahn   Violin
Yolanda Maldonado   Choir, Chorus
Marshall McDonald   Saxophone
Mike Migliore   Tenor Saxophone
Mario Rivera   Flute,Alto Saxophone
Gary Valente   Trombone
Peter Brainin   Saxophone
Chris Komer   French Horn
Jon Owens   Trumpet
Arturo O'Farrill   Piano,Conductor
Kenny Rampton   Trumpet
Jim Seeley   Trumpet
Matt Hilgenberg   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Todd Barkan   Producer
Troy Halderson   Engineer
Chico O'Farrill   Arranger
Arturo O'Farrill   Producer,Musical Director
Cesar Portillo de la Luz   Composer
Cesar Narciso De Luz Portillo   Composer

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