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From Father to Son

Chucho Valdés and Arturo O’Farrill celebrate the art of Bebo Valdés and Chico O’Farrill…

By Abigail Church | Video of the Day | September 21, 2017

Without the pianist Bebo Valdés and the trumpet player Chico O'Farrill, Afro-Cuban music and the world of jazz would be quite different. Their way of playing, their compositions and their arrangements for big-bands have influenced hordes of musicians. Their story is also a reflection of the solid artistic links unifying Cuba and the United States, far away from the diplomatic and politic quarrels…

Here, their sons Chucho Valdés and Arturo O'Farrill (two musical giants as well) celebrate this legacy. With Familia: Tribute To Bebo And Chico, the two pianists are careful to ensure that this celebration doesn’t sound outdated. On the contrary! They take the Afro-Cuban jazz tradition to rather enjoyable new harmonic and rhythmic horizons. The level of the other members of the two families is really astonishing: the pianist Leyanis Valdés, the drummers Jessie Valdés and Adam O'Farrill and the trumpet player Zack O'Farrill all offer virtuoso performances, mixing their grandfathers’ music with original compositions.

And to highlight even more the open-mindedness of these brilliant protagonists, Familia: Tribute To Bebo And Chico ends on a title that welcomes the sitarist Anoushka Shankar! In short, this album is a pure wonder.

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