Cover image for Heart of a legend
Heart of a legend
O'Farrill, Chico, 1921-2001.
Publication Information:
Berkeley, CA : Milestone Records, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 audio disc (61 min.) : digital, stereophonic ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact disc.

Program notes on insert ([32] p.)
Guaguasi - Momentum -- La verde campina -- Sing your blues away (for Neca) -- Guaguasi abstracto -- Trumpet fantasy -- Chico's cha cha cha -- Te quiero - Manteca -- Locos de la Habana -- Sin tu amor -- Pure emotion -- Fin de siglo - The Journey
Format :
Music CD


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JAZZ .O31 H Compact Disc Central Library

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The campaign to punch Chico O'Farrill into the general consciousness continues with what amounts to an anthology of his work, all freshly and brilliantly played by the Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Band directed by his pianist son Arturo. The material on hand goes back to a 1956 cha-cha written on a plane ride to Havana, but the unifying thread is a suite from the film Guaguasi scattered in pieces throughout the album. It is an often astonishingly diverse portrait of O'Farrill, reflecting not only his percolating Afro-Cuban rhythmic base but also some of his other musical directions. There is a Basie-style big-band blues, "Sing Your Blues Away," with Freddie Cole doing a credible job as velvety blues shouter; a lightweight, fluffy thing called "Te Quiero" with flute/female choruses and a lascivious Gato Barbieri on tenor; and a recent Latin jazz suite of relatively modest proportions, "Trumpet Fantasy (For Wynton)." The best stuff comes early on: the marvelous "Theme From Guaguasi," a heartfelt Afro-Cuban workout in 6/8 time called "Momentum," which is really a renamed piece inspired by the 1962 Cuban missile crisis ("Cuban Conflagration") that was rescued from oblivion for this album. Several other famous Latin jazz names turn up in fine form: Paquito D'Rivera, Cachao, Candido, Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros, Carlos "Patato" Valdes, and, in a closing duet, Arturo O'Farrill and Arturo Sandoval. There are a lot of board fades on these tracks, a highly unusual practice in the '90s on a jazz album. Though not as essential as Pure Emotion, this CD confirms the continued vitality of this 77-year-old master. ~ Richard S. Ginell