Bill O’Connell receives a 93 from Staccatofy

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by Steph Cosme

Rating: 93

Bill O’Connell, Winds Off The Hudson Review


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Bill O’Connell is a matador of Latin Jazz. Involved since the 70s his sense of authenticity is matchless.  On his latest album Winds Off The Hudson, O’Connell gathers a masterful line up of Andrea Brachfeld –  flute (tracks 1, 3, 5, 7–10), alto flute (track 4); Craig Handy – alto sax (tracks 1-3, 6, 7, 9 & 10) soprano sax (track 8); Ralph Bowen – tenor sax; Gary Smulyan – baritone sax; Alex Sipiagin – trumpet, flugelhorn (track 4 only); Conrad Herwig – trombone; Lincoln Goines – electric bass; Robby Ameen – drums; Roman Diaz – congas (except track 4).  If you are not breathless after reading these herculean names in Latin jazz and the salsa scene, then certainly after one listen you will be.

Positives: O’Connell has a lyrical approach, but his muscularity within that lyricism is to be noted.

Bottom Line: O’Connell has an innate ability to create complex harmonic voicings and deliver an effortless soundscape of harmonic and rhythmic shifts that stimulate each melody to its fullest potential. His supporting cast on Winds Off The Hudson is nothing short of colossal. Each track takes you through a myriad of Latin rhythms all expertly executed, but it’s much more than technical ability, it’s the sheer musicality of each player driven by O’Connell that makes this album such a delight to listen to. The music is accessible, yet challenging, but it’s the expertise of each player that binds the music to its highest level. Highly recommended.
Kari Gaffney

Kari Gaffney

Since 1988 Kari-On Productions has helped artists get an even footing in the industry through jazz promotion in the genres of Jazz, World & Latin Jazz through Jazz Radio and Publicity. Why do we do both, because they compliment each other, and we care about fiscal longevity for the artist.

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