by Glenn Daniels
Wind Off The Hudson is the stellar new release by pianist Bill O’Connell. Joined by The Afro Caribbean Ensemble, an incredibly talented lineup of musicians, the recording serves as a showcase for O’Connell’s virtuosic piano skills and his talents as a composer and arranger. The effort leans more towards O’Connell’s own tunes than the covers of tunes by John Coltrane, Juan Tizol, Tito Puente, and Duke Ellington, all of which are fantastically arranged and performed. Members of the wonderfully gifted group of players include Andrea Brachfeld on flute, Craig Handy on alto saxophone, Gary Smulyan on baritone sax, Conrad Herwig on trombone, Alex Sipiagin on trumpet, Robby Ameen on drums and Lincoln Goines on bass. This one is musical excellence from start to finish.