Bill O'Connell Latin Jazz Project: Black Sand
An undeniably mature and satisfying statement, this set features eleven originals by the pianist and one jazz standard that sit squarely within the idiom and feature Dave Valentin, Charles Fambrough, Steve Berrios, Joe Ford, and Milton Cardona. Of course, these names will be familiar to followers of Latin Jazz. O'Connell's writing favors the kind of structures which establish a strong groove while allowing for ample solo space. "Obakoso" even goes for a stripped-down percussion display by Milton Cardona recalling the folkloric tradition of Santaria. It's all pretty heady stuff that makes you wonder why O'Connell doesn't step out more often as a leader.
Track Listing: Latin Jazz, Black Sand, Blue Brazil, Obakoso, Alhamba, Kidz, Fire Dance, Gentle Rumba, Son of a Montuno, Trepidation, Iguana, It's Alright with Me.
Personnel: Bill O'Connell (piano), Andy Gonzalez & Charles Fambrough (bass), Steve Berrios (drums), Joe Ford (alto & soprano sax), Randy Brecker (trumpet), Dave Valentin (flute), Milton Cardona (congas & vocals), Carole Robinson (vocals), Sergio Cardona (percussion)
Record Label: Random Chance Records