ARTURO O’FARRILL RETURNS WITH LEGACIES
NEW BLUE NOTE ALBUM OUT TODAY PRESENTS SOLO PIANO & TRIO PERFORMANCES FEATURING DRUMMER ZACK O’FARRILL & BASSIST LIANY MATEO
PHOTO BY JOHN ABBOTT
28 APRIL 2023 (TORONTO, ON) — Arturo O’Farrill returns to his first love—the piano—on his new Blue Note album Legacies out today. Renowned as a composer, arranger, and bandleader, here the 8-time GRAMMY- winner puts the emphasis back on his striking pianistic abilities with a 9-song set that juxtaposes stunning solo piano flights and dynamic trio performances with O’Farrill accompanied by his son, drummer Zack O’Farrill, and bassist Liany Mateo.
The repertoire on Legacies includes pieces by Bud Powell (“Un Poco Loco”), Thelonious Monk (“Well, You Needn’t”), Herbie Hancock (“Dolphin Dance”), Carla Bley (“Utviklingssang”), his father Chico O’Farrill (“Pure Emotion”), and Puerto Rican composer Pedro Flores (“Obsession”). The album follows O’Farrill’s 2021 Blue Note debut …dreaming in lions…, an album that presented two multi-movement suites composed by O’Farrill and performed by the 10-piece assemblage The Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble.
“How did a classically trained musician with an Irish/Mexican/Cuban/German heritage and a propensity toward the avant-garde became the poster boy for Afro Latin Jazz? Obviously, by falling in love with Jazz piano,” says O’Farrill. “I have always been a jazz pianist first, and all that other stuff afterwards. When Don Was asked me to record this side of me I was very grateful for the chance to return to my roots as a musician.”
The track listing for Legacies is as follows:
- Dolphin Dance (Herbie Hancock)
- Well, You Needn’t (Thelonious Monk)
- Blue State Blues (Arturo O’Farrill)
- Pure Emotion (Arturo “Chico” O’Farrill)
- Obsession (Pedro Flores)
- Darn That Dream (Jimmy Van Heusen, Edgar DeLange)
- Utviklingssang (Carla Bley)
- Doxy (Sonny Rollins)
- Un Poco Loco (Bud Powell)
Born in Mexico and raised in New York, Arturo O’Farrill continues to deepen his engagement with Cuban arts and culture, always in his distinctively hybridizing way, much like his father, Havana-born Chico O’Farrill, the son of an Irish father and German mother. With …dreaming in lions… O’Farrill adds to a celebrated catalog of previous efforts including The Offense of the Drum (with Vijay Iyer, Edmar Castaneda and other guests); Cuba: The Conversation Continues (with Rudresh Mahanthappa, DJ Logic, more); Familia: Tribute to Bebo and Chico (with Chucho Valdés, the Third Generations Ensemble & Anoushka Shankar); Fandango at the Wall: A Soundtrack for the United States, Mexico and Beyond (with Regina Carter, Antonio Sanchez and many others); and Four Questions (with Cornel West). Deeply informed by the vernacular and rich traditions of Latin jazz, this music is never constrained by categories; it is consistently global in outlook, in keeping with O’Farrill’s pedagogical vision as the recently appointed Professor of Global Jazz Studies (and Assistant Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. He is among the foremost practitioners in Latin jazz but also one of the most authoritative composers in current small- and large-ensemble jazz as a whole.
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