Bill O’Connell receives a 93 from Staccatofy


STACCATOFY

by Steph Cosme

Rating: 93

Bill O’Connell, Winds Off The Hudson Review

bill-oconnell-staccatofy-cd

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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.

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