Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra Motema 2014

The Offense of the Drum

Sometimes less is more...this concept would have been a plus with The Offense Of The Drum

Brent Black /

Arturo O'Farrill is a brilliant composer, instrumentalist and band leader. The Offense Of The Drum is considered by some to serve as a master class on the Afro Latin Jazz genre yet this may be where the release begins to crash and burn. Over 30 types of percussion move from traditional Afro-Latin jazz to the Caribbean and the New York sound that O'Farrill's father Chico played such a prominent role in promoting.

There is simply such a wide harmonic path cut that the release becomes somewhat disconnected on occasion while showing flashes of brilliance on others. DJ Logic makes an appearance which seems out of place at best. Highlighting the importance of drums and percussion for this genre of music in a recording is a stroke of brilliance yet this everything but the kitchen sink mentality never really allows the release to take off with real consistency or uniformity of sound.

A musician is only as creative as he or she wishes to be. Creativity with The Offense Of The Drum is never in question but for this critic there was simply far too much harmonic ground attempted to be covered and the full potential of all the musical co-conspirators here was never reached.

Again, O'Farrill is a brilliant talent and for fans and those looking to explore a more flavorful solo piano then check out the 2012 release, The Noguchi Sessions.

No rating. Passing on this release completely, much ado about nothing.