Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Zack and Adam O'Farrill: Giant Peach

Zoho Music
By Ric Bang
Buy CD: Giant Peach

I've always been intrigued by siblings who make jazz their common careers. My first exposure to this situation was with trumpeters Pete and Conti Candoli, who played with Woody Herman; other examples include Cannonball and Nat Adderley; Jimmy, Percy and Albert Heath; and Art and Addison Farmer.

This album features Zack and Adam O’Farrill, who are carrying on the tradition established by their father, Auturo, and grandfather, Chico, both of whom have fronted famous Latin Jazz big bands.

This quintet, led by Adam on trumpet and Zack on drums, also features tenor saxman Livio Almeida, pianist Zaccai Curtis and bassist Michael Sachs. All but one of the eight tracks here were written by members of the group; the sole exception ("Stablemates") is a Benny Golson composition. The result is a swinging blend of Latin-styled backgrounds and traditional jazz phrasing, particularly in the solo work.

This is a truly young band; the members are in their 20s, and the group has existed for fewer than three years. Adam was only 16 when he composed his first tune. Needless to say, with both a father and grandfather still active and heading bands, the boys had opportunities to play professionally while still in school ... and youth always is accompanied by enthusiasm.

These young men are having a great time, and it shows.

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