Artist: Adam O’Farrill
Album: Stranger Days
Release Date: 2016
Audio Format: FLAC (tracks) 24bit, 88,2 kHz
Total Tracks: 10
Total Size: 1,13 GB
02. Adam O’Farrill – The Stranger (10:17)
03. Adam O’Farrill – Survival Instincts (06:50)
04. Adam O’Farrill – Why She Loves (08:52)
05. Adam O’Farrill – Aligator Got the Blues (05:51)
06. Adam O’Farrill – Forget Everything You’ve Learned At School (05:44)
07. Adam O’Farrill – The Cows and Their Farmer Walt (07:40)
08. Adam O’Farrill – The Courtroom (03:16)
09. Adam O’Farrill – Building the Metamorphosen Bridge (05:16)
10. Adam O’Farrill – Lower Brooklyn Botanical Union (06:15)
The Brooklyn born and raised O’Farrill comes from a celebrated musical lineage: his grandfather, the Cuban composer/arranger Chico O’Farrill; his father, pianist and composer Arturo O’Farrill; and his mother Alison Deane, a classical pianist. Growing up in a musically rich environment, his parents showing him everything from Oscar Peterson to Steely Dan to Olivier Messiaen, it was only natural that he fell into it, first with piano lessons and then to the trumpet when he was 8 years old.
Of course, it does not hurt to have Chico O’Farrill as your grandfather and Arturo O’Farrill as your father either, and neither does his recent work with Rudresh Mahanthappa and his Bird Calls band, but his music and musicianship most assuredly stands on its own.
This is mature music with much to say; it is neither mainstream nor avant-garde, but takes chances within an understandable framework. Most importantly, these pieces tell stories, some more overt than others, and in then the end, these players become known to the listener.
Stranger Days is a real band whose members know each other well, which the music makes perfectly clear, and they want you to know them also. The cumulative effect of the album (Zack O’Farrill’s liner notes state that the album should be listened to from beginning to end) is startling—the band is speaking, telling stories, their stories, through their music which is somehow simultaneously abstract and personally concrete.
It matters not if one knows the details of what any track is “about,” although their order has an importance beyond pacing. All of this band’s music has clarity, finesse, sharp wit and not a little bit of swagger. Although O’Farrill is the leader, the band is clearly a cooperative affair.
Stranger Days is a fabulous recording that sounds completely fresh and alive even after repeated listenings. Definite Best of 2016!