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The Noguchi Sessions

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 5, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Arturo O'Farrill made a name for himself by following in his father's footsteps, leading a Latin big band and small groups, and writing arrangements and originals for them. But this 2011 session is his first playing solo piano, alone in the Noguchi Museum on Long Island after hours, with his favorite artist's work for inspiration. O'Farrill begins with an elaborate improvisation he called The Sun at Midnight, which blends elements of classical music, Cuban jazz, post-bop, and more into a stunning performance. Once I Had a Secret Meditation is a brilliant re-imagination of the standard Secret Love, a dramatic, shimmering effort that is reminiscent of some of Aaron Copland's writing for piano, especially in its hymn-like conclusion. His reworking of the 19th century minstrel song O' Susanna transforms the piece into a turbulent, harmonically rich showpiece worthy of comparison to Art Tatum's recordings. Randy Weston's Little Niles has long been a jazz standard, though O'Farrill gives this African-flavored work his personal stamp, mixing Cuban accents into the bassline while retaining the essence of the piece. The pianist finds the great Cuban classical composer Ernesto Lecuona's Siboney to be fertile ground for improvisation as well, embellishing its infectious melody with a lively touch. Oh Danny Boy was a favorite of Tatum as well, and O'Farrill's elaborate Latin interpretation is no less impressive, taking it well from its expected path. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the finale, a playful take of Charles Mingus' Jelly Roll, an unjustly neglected work dedicated to a now-overlooked early great. O'Farrill's rendition starts out sublime but has rousing and playful moments. While Arturo O'Farrill has shown great success leading a big band and small groups, he needs to set aside additional recording dates for future solo piano projects. TRACK LISTING: 1. The Sun at Midnight 2. O' Susanna 3. In Whom 4. Little Niles 5. The Delusion of the Greedy 6. Siboney 7. Alisonia 8. Once I Had a Secret Meditation 9. Mi Vida 10. Obsesi¢n 11. Oh Danny Boy 12. Jelly Roll

Review

O Farrill s energy is a joyful force. His conducting
is physical, his piano playing powerful. --Npr

Like great jazz visionaries, O Farrill s appetite is
large. --All About Jazz

Like great jazz visionaries, O Farrill s appetite is
large. --All About Jazz

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Sun at Midnight
  2. O' Susanna
  3. In Whom
  4. Little Niles
  5. The Delusion of the Greedy
  6. Siboney
  7. Alisonia
  8. Once I Had A Secret Meditation
  9. Mi Vida
  10. Obsesion
  11. Oh Danny Boy
  12. Jelly Roll


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 5, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Zoho Music
  • ASIN: B0087OULI2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #429,739 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Twelve tracks of solo jazz piano recorded the evening of October 17, 2011 at The Noguchi Museum in New York City.

The selections range from free improvisation ("The Sun at Midnight"), to very personal compositions ("In Whom", written for his son; "Mi Vida", written to commemorate the wedding anniversary of his Aunt and Uncle). Half of the pieces are written by Arturo himself, with the remainder an eclectic collection ranging from Americana ("O'Susanna"), traditional ballad ("Oh Danny Boy"), and finally to the Charles Mingus tribute to Jelly Roll Morton ("Jelly Roll").

The feeling is one of being present at a very personal and intimate session, with Arturo enjoying himself and performing at the piano for the pure joy of the music and its expression.

I have enjoyed this music very much. This is my first album from Arturo O'Farrill but it will not be my last.

Addendum to review - As another Amazon reviewer has earlier noted, some purchasers of this CD have had an issue with the "metadata" that iTunes and similar software will download from the internet database (Gracenote) and that identifies CD name, artist, track name and information, etc. When I first copied this disc to my iTunes library, it was only able to identify the timing of each track, nothing else. I therefore had to manually enter all of the information myself if I wanted the disc and track names to be identified on my iPod.
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Format: Audio CD
This album offers the combination of classical and innovative that defines O'Farrill's virtuosity. The six original compositions are alternately sweet, funny, angry, and amusing -- sometimes within a single composition. The six classic tunes each receives a new treatment. You will hear more interesting harmonies in old favorites like Siboney and O'Sussanna than you may have previously.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
this cd does not show a title nor track names when played on my computer only track 1 etc. why?
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Format: Audio CD
Noguchi Sessions

I think the secret is out of the bag. I like Arturo O'Farrill. I think I have covered three or four CDs, concerts, projects and the like in the past six or eight months that the GRAMMY® Award winning pianist, composer and educator has either led, contributed to or organized. From his work with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra to his involvement in "Música Nueva 5, Prez Fest 2012 Celebrating Dizzy Gillespie and his regular sideman, trumpeter and flugelhornist Jim Seeley, participating in Celebrando" by Hendrik Meurkens, Gabriel Espinosa with Anat Cohen & Antonio Sanchez which I reviewed back in May (follow the links).

He's everywhere, he's everywhere. And for good reason. The man is a monster on the piano. Surprisingly, this is his solo Piano Debut. And what could be more natural for O'Farrill, Mexican born to a Cuban father and a Mexican mother but raised in New York than to draw inspiration from Japanese-American Artist Isamu Noguchi?

"The Noguchi Sessions" Arturo O'FarrillIt's not by chance that O'Farrill chose The Noguchi Museum (in Long Island City, NY) as a setting for perhaps his most personal and challenging project to date: a recording of solo piano. "I have waited to record solo piano. It is the scariest thing a pianist can do. In Noguchi's multifaceted approach to his work -- painting, drawing, sculpting and designing furniture, lighting, and public spaces -- he found a kindred spirit. O'Farrill has not only performed as a soloist, and led and composed for small and large ensembles but also created his own organization. The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance is a non-profit organization committed to advancing the performance and educational aspects of the music -- just as Noguchi created his own museum.
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