idea that talent runs in the family isn’t lost on the O’Farrills. Adam and
Zack represent the third generation of a Latin Jazz, following the path
blazed by their grandfather, Chico O’Farrill, and father, Arturo O’Farrill.
With Adam on trumpet and Zack on drums, the brothers lead a small ensemble
for their debut, Giant Peach (Zoho Records, 2011). In addition to
their family influences, the O’Farrills have honed their skills with such
artists as Stefon Harris and James Moody. They’ve also performed at a
variety of venues, such as New York City’s Birdland Jazz Club, The Kitano
and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.
Michael Sacks’ acoustic bass kicks off “Face It!,” composed by tenor
saxophonist Livio Almeida. The tenor and Adam’s trumpet blend for the
melody of this lively, cruising down the highway tune. The highlight is
Almeida’s middle solo, a thrilling afternoon jaunt, fueled by Sacks and
Zach O’Farrill. Things mellow a bit but keep moving when Adam takes over.
Throughout, this song gives a sense of going no place in particular, but
having a heck of a good time on the way.
“The Composing Process” is a dramatic opus, written by Adam. The
syncopation of the band is rock solid. At times, it’s as if all five
players are into something different, yet happens to have the same rhythm.
Underneath the leads, Sacks’ fingers move at alarming speed, plucking the
strings of the bass. Zach injects a variety of percussive instruments to
compliment his drum kit, shifting easily from keeping time to adding
another layer to whatever’s happening in the moment.
With the exception of the opening “Stablemates,” all songs were written
for his project by members of the band. Running times range from five
minutes to nine minutes. That adds up to just under an hour of listening
pleasure, with each song giving the band as a unit, as well as the
soloists, plenty of space to show their chops.