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Arturo O’Farrill Sextet at Dizzy's Club, Coca-Cola
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Arturo O’Farrill Sextet at Dizzy's Club, Coca-Cola

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

Arturo O’Farrill Sextet
(Arturo O’Farrill Website)
Arturo O'Farrill, piano
Dafnis Prieto, drums
Pedro Martinez, congas & percussion
John Benitez, bass
Willie Williams, tenor saxophone
Jim Seeley, trumpet

At
Frederick P. Rose Hall
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola
Broadway at 60th Street
NY, NY
212.258.9595
(Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola Website)
Todd Barkan, Artistic Administrator
Scott Thompson, Press

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 1, 2008


I caught the finale of the second set of the Arturo O’Farrill Sextet tonight, while waiting for the third and final set, and this band was strong in percussive rhythms. Dafnis Prieto on drums and Pedro Martinez on congas backed a repetitive refrain from Willie Williams on tenor sax and Jim Seeley on trumpet. O’Farrill kept the Latin infused clavé beat clear and accentuated. The next piece opened with soft, ethereal piano, with Williams taking a bluesy melancholy lead. O’Farrill provided keyboard infusion as Seeley and Williams faced each other for a dazzling duo, alternating with O’Farrill’s rapturous chords. Following this moody music was a bright, Afro-Caribbean work, fused with straight jazz, with Pedro Martinez on Latin-styled conga rhythms. Rapid ripples of sound emanated from combined piano, sax, and trumpet, while Jon Benitez on bass and Prieto on drums added the explosive Caribbean beat. This sound was evocative of a lusty mambo, as O’Farrill took off on thundering chords, with Seeley’s trumpet adding a blast of brass.

The third set brought my guest, Marco Losavio, of JazzItalia.net, and me to a table, close to the percussion side of the band. O’Farrill dove right into mesmerizing mambo mania, with Williams’ sax blazing and Seeley’s trumpet punctuating the music with persuasive pulse. O’Farrill’s theme was seamless and charismatic, adding a honky-tonk refrain. O’Farrill rips his hands across the keyboard, as a trio of congas, drums, and bass pulsate with tempo. This Sextet has pep and power, with classical and Latin infusion at every corner. Without hesitation, Prieto took a solo, with slight piano-sax ornamentations. The following piece was introduced on piano, atonal, meandering, and impressionistic. Seeley’s trumpet came in, and next Williams’ sax. The lovely, languorous melody had few frills, but a trumpet-bass-piano trio found Benitez leading the theme. O’Farrill echoed the bass, as Martinez expanded the sound with conga effects.

O’Farrill greeted his fans at Dizzy’s Club, Coca-Cola, and he mentioned a few compositions on this set, Tabla Rasa, El Salon Cubano, and Punta Deo. As O’Farrill returned to the Steinway for Tabla Rasa, Williams took his soprano sax, and Seeley took his trumpet, after Arturo called out a few signals in Spanish. These words added to the beat and ambiance, with Prieto on a wooden block and Martinez forcefully on the congas. A kicked-up mambo ensued, with O’Farrill’s wild, Latin mix. At once, I heard sound that resembled Turkish exoticism, fused brass with eerie chants, followed by solo congas. The audience was hushed, as they focused on the slightest ripple of congas, created with Martinez’ two-finger riff. Soon, a slow, marching motif developed, with congas, drums, and a rippling sax. More exoticism followed, with Seeley’s gripping theme, and O’Farrill attacked the keyboard as it almost burst its seams.



Arturo O'Farrill Greets His Fans
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio


Jim Seeley and Willie Williams
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio


Arturo O'Farrill Sextet
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio


Arturo O'Farrill Sextet
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio


John Benitez, Dafnis Prieto, and Pedro Martinez
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio


Arturo O'Farrill and Jim Seeley
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio


Marco Losavio at Dizzy's Club, Coca-Cola
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Pedro Martinez on Congas
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio


Jim Seeley on Trumpet
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio


Willie Williams
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio



Pedro Martinez
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio


Dafnis Prieto
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio



Arturo O'Farrill on Piano
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio


Pedro Martinez
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio


Willie Williams and Dafnis Prieto
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio


Jim Seeley on Trumpet
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio


Dafnis Prieto on Drums
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio


Pedro Martinez on Congas
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio


Jim Seeley on Trumpet
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio


Jim Seeley and Willie Williams
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio


Arturo O'Farrill Thanks His Fans
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio


Pedro Martinez
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio



John Benitez on Bass
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower and Marco Losavio



Todd Barkan, Dizzy's Artistic Director, Thanks the Guests
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net