The art form commonly referred to as Latin Jazz is a musical expression of the heart and soul of New York, an exciting reflection of the rhythms and spirit of the city's merging of Latino and African-American cultures. The music of Bill O'Connell is a product of that environment. Since the 1970's, when he first joined Mongo Santamaria's band, O'Connell has continually proven himself not only as a highly skilled pianist, but as an outstanding composer-arranger as well. The Afro Caribbean Ensemble, ACE for short, makes their recording debut on this album and the star-studded roster perform O’Connell’s tricky arrangements with virtuoso aplomb. O’Connell says, “I’ve been planning on this recording for the better part of the past decade.” His dedication is evident in every bar.
“Bill O'Connell’s piano playing highlights his total command over the keys. Everything you could possibly look for in a pianist — taste, clarity of touch, technique, wit, erudition, harmonic depth, lyricism, rhythmic authority — is here for the taking.”
— Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz
BILL O'CONNELL, piano
THE AFRO CARIBBEAN ENSEMBLE: Andrea Brachfeld, flutes • Craig Handy, sop & alto sax • Ralph Bowen, tenor sax • Gary Smulyan, baritone sax • Alex Sipiagin, trumpet • Conrad Herwig, trombone • Lincoln Goines, electric bass • Robby Ameen, drums • Roman Diaz, congas
TRACKS: Wind Off the Hudson • Gospel 6 • Jerry’s Blues • I Don’t Have the Answer • Oye Como Va • Perdido • Got Cha • Transition • C Jam Blues • Discombobulation
Wind Off the Hudson