Preceding an intoxicating arrangement of Juan Tizol's "Caravan," O'Farrill jokingly invited three soloists to "get into a heated debate to discuss and solve the world's problems." Called to the front of the stage were tenor saxophonist Ivan Renta, bass trombonist Earl McIntyre and trumpeter Adam O'Farrill, Arturo's teenage son.
Despite the levity of O'Farrill's commentary, the three formed a wonderful microcosm of the current jazz community, cutting across racial, ethnic and generational lines as they traded interactive improvisations. The planet's problems may not have been eradicated by the end of this mesmerizing triologue, but the escalating sense of joy and well-being in the audience was undeniable.
O'Farrill also conducted a rousing version of "A Wise Latina," a recent composition he'd written in honor of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who became the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice a year ago.
The afternoon began with a very different Latin American musical conception, courtesy of trumpeter Gabriel Alegria's Afro-Peruvian Sextet. The South American native has just issued "Pucusana," his second recording with this strong ensemble. Alegria's sextet melded familiar jazz concepts with an exotic array of Peruvian rhythmic sensibilities at the Litchfield festival. Freddy "Huevito" Lobaton's vigorous cajon percussion and dynamic dance work were especially well received. The same ensemble performs at the New Haven Jazz Festival on the Green next Saturday. Visit http://www.jazzhaven.org for further details.
By Chuck Obuchowski, Special To The Courant, August 08, 2010. Read Article at Courant.com.
Photo by Nathan Turner.