Savant

O'CONNELL,BILL - CHANGE IS GONNA COME COMPACT DISC

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It may be wintertime at this writing, a winter further darkened by the Covid crisis, but Bill O'Connell's optimistically-titled A Change is Gonna Come exudes some welcome warmth and sunshine. Even Bill's original "Covid Blues" displays a subtle sense of...

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It may be wintertime at this writing, a winter further darkened by the Covid crisis, but Bill O'Connell's optimistically-titled A Change is Gonna Come exudes some welcome warmth and sunshine. Even Bill's original "Covid Blues" displays a subtle sense of playfulness, entrusting the slightly off-kilter blues number to the distinctive tone color of Craig Handy's soprano saxophone. Likewise the plaintive melody of Sam Cooke's title track contains a note of optimism here. But with O'Connell at the helm we shouldn't be surprised by imaginative arrangements. He is a real triple-threat in jazz, equally well-known as a composer, arranger and instrumentalist, having honed his craft carefully from his days with Mongo Santamaria in the 70s, his involvement in the legendary ensemble, Jasmine, his gigs with Chet Baker, Gato Barbieri, Sonny Rollins and others and his long-time associations with Jerry Gonzalez's Fort Apache Band and the late Latin jazz flautist, Dave Valentin. A Change is Gonna Come features seven remarkable works by O'Connell, a four-time recipient of the Jazz Writer of the Year from SESAC, a tune by Trane, the title track by Sam Cooke and a unique take on the standard "My Foolish Heart." With Handy, Lincoln Goines, Pedrito Martinez and drummer Steve Jordon (currently taking over for the late Charlie Watts with the Rolling Stones) Bill O'Connell's latest Savant recording cements his place as a master of the broadest spectrum of musical styles, a giant of modern jazz and a member of Latin jazz royalty.

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