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World Music CD Reviews Jazz

ARTURO O’ FARRILL

By Ken Micallef
Published September 23, 2005

Live In Brooklyn
Zoho

As much a showcase for rising superstar drummer Dafnis Prieto as pianist O’Farrill, Live In Brooklyn was recorded over two sweltering nights in the New York City borough and the heat was obviously contagious. Mexico-born O’Farrill creates a whirlwind of scalding rhythms, complex chordal sequences, crunchy interplay and emotive swing, all expressed in tight kernels of hard Latin logic. The trio (including bassist Andy Gonzalez) is so close-knit, exhilarating and fevered, and so daring and free in its improvisations, that anything goes. Performing a wide array of covers infused with smoking Latin sparks, the trio dissects Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints,” complete with funky street beats and illusive romantic airs, caresses “In A Sentimental Mood” with a dry summer wind, and dropkicks Monk’s “Well, You Needn’t” with Prieto’s chattering cowbells and O”Farrill’s rambunctious, nearly free playing. This is a statement of intent, a declaration and a celebration: this trio’s on fire.