Arturo O’Farrill fulfills ‘lifelong dream’ with release of Blue Note album
This project finds O’Farrill leading a pared-down, 10-member version of his Grammy-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. Among the lineup are his two sons: trumpeter Adam O’Farrill and drummer Zack O’Farrill. Joining them are percussionists Vince Cherico, Carlos “Carly” Maldonado and Victor Pablo Garcia Gaetan; bassist Bam Rodriguez; guitarist Travis Reuter; trombonist and euphonist Rafi Malkiel; and flutist and saxophonist Alejandro Aviles. O’Farrill’s wife, the classical pianist Alison Deane, plays on the final track Dreams So Gold.
You can listen to Despedida: Del Mar below.
Born in Mexico and later raised in New York, O’Farrill has become renowned for his contributions to contemporary Latin jazz since he began his career in the early ‘80s. He started out with the Carla Bley Band before transitioning to a solo career, playing with artists such as Dizzie Gillespie, Howard Johnson, Steve Ture and Lester Bowie. He eventually took over for his father Chico O’Farrill as the leader of Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.
The narratives driving O’Farrill’s debut are split between two extended suites made in collaboration with the Malpaso Dance Company, the troupe of dancers who accompany the ensemble on stage. Five movements are collectively titled Despedida, a meditation on farewells drawing from feelings of loss and grief, while the other nine movements are Dreaming in Lions, inspired by an image from one of O’Farrill’s favourite childhood novels, Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea.
…dreaming in lions… offers more of O’Farrill’s most ambitious work as a composer, while staying true to the varied and rich traditions of Latin jazz that have defined his career.
Here’s the track listing:
- Despedida: Del Mar
- Despedida: Intruso
- Despedida: Beauty Cocoon
- Despedida: Ensayo Silencio
- Despedida: La Llorona
- Dreaming in Lions: Dreaming in Lions
- Dreaming in Lions: Scalular
- Dreaming in Lions: How I Love
- Dreaming in Lions: The Deep
- Dreaming in Lions: War Bird Man
- Dreaming in Lions: Struggles And Strugglets
- Dreaming in Lions: I Wish We Was
- Dreaming in Lions: Blood In The Water
- Dreaming in Lions: Dreams So Gold
…dreaming in lions… was released Sept. 24 via Blue Note.