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Arturo O’Farrill | “Risa Negra”: Recommended Listening With Damian Erskine

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Arturo O’Farrill
“Risa Negra”
www.arturoofarrill.com

Many of know that I have a real affinity for Latin Jazz and Afro-Cuban music in particular. New York residing and Mexican born pianist/composer Arturo O’Farrill has given me much to study and enjoy here! Introducing us to what he calls his “Multi-cultural Sextet” featuring wonderful musicians from the Caribbean, US, Latin America, Russia and India, the music is pure creativity, passion and joy. I especially enjoyed Russian bass phenom Boris Kozlov on upright and electric. Boris is an unusual breed of player who really plays the music from the inside-out and can speak from the heart on both upright and electric. Ricardo Rodriguez shares bass duties on 4 tracks as well and is equally stellar.

This music struck me as very personal and each track seemed to tell a story. I thought it a fun aside that, when I picked up the CD sleeve to read up on the disc, it contained the story behind each track! This, to me, struck me because he so completely captured a spirit in each song that I could hear the story before knowing that there was one (NOT that I was like, “oh yeah, track 2 is totally about your son, huh?”. What I mean to say is that every track is very evocative of something and it was nice to know that it was very intentional and so successfully emoted).

These guys are on fire and the music is wonderful. Check it out!

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