Arturo O’Farrill – Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra – Virtual Birdland


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O'Farrill (a six time Grammy Award Winner) and all musicians on this CD performed remotely in their living rooms, enriching lives of unseen listeners.
Gulab Jamón's title is a mash up of two of my favorite cuisines, Indian and Spanish. The inspiration came from thinking about water and how it can exist in many forms but is essentially the same. We should see humanity as existing in many forms but being of the same essence. We do not dilute our essence when we embrace others.
Pouvoir means ''power'' in French and is written by a very powerful artist born in Morocco, a defender of the sacred Moroccan rhythmic code, Chaabi (a traditional style of North African dance music associated with weddings and festivals.) Malika Zarra, trained in New York, currently residing in Paris, is an archetype of how the music of Mother Africa flows from its sources and travels the globe enriching everyone it touches.
Beautiful human beings make beautiful music. I'm not talking about high cheekbones or sculpted abs. I refer to those whose inner joy radiates in who they are and what they bring. Rafi Malkiel is just such a being. If you know Rafi, you love Rafi. Desert, his composition, is an example of that inner joy flowing out. The sound of ancient trade routes connecting with a moment in time where we all need healing.
Nightfall by Larry Willis is an example of the compositional prowess of this brilliant pianist. The effortlessness of his swing and the efficacy of his tumbao reveal that the roots, path, and future of this music we call jazz are Afro Latino. Influenced by the middle east and beyond, this music filters through Spain, ferments in Northern African, crystalizes in Western Africa and through a cataclysm called the slave trade, makes its way into all of the Americas.
The next piece is an example of global cooperation, of what could be if artists ran the world. Ghazi Faisal Al-Mulaifi from Kuwait wrote this beautiful song, Ana Mashoof, and it was originally performed in Abu Dhabi during a concert called Cuba Meets Khaleeji: The Middle Eastern Roots of Afro Cuban Jazz.

Track Listing:
1. Gulab Jamon – 7:11   2. Pouvoir – 6:46   3. Desert – 6:31   4. Nightfall – 7:40   5. Ana Mashoof – 8:12   6. Samba for Carmen – 5:11   7. Alafia – 7:35   8. En La Oscuridad – 3:47   9. Cimarron – 8:20   10. Para Los Rumberos – 7:20

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