Despite the Young Lion movement of the '80s, '90s, and 2000s, jazz isn't nearly as youth-obsessed as rock, dance-pop, or rap. Jazz is full of talented people who were late bloomers in some respect -- singers and instrumentalists who spent considerable time in the shed and might have been 35, 40, or even older the first time they composed original material, landed a recording contract, or recorded an album as a leader. Arturo O'Farrill certainly didn't start recording as a leader right away; the acoustic pianist was in his late thirties when, in 1999, he provided his first album as a leader, Blood Lines. Although Arturo O'Farrill is the son of the late bandleader/arranger/composer Chico O'Farrill, he didn't inundate listeners with Afro-Cuban rhythms on Blood Lines; he used them more sparingly than Poncho Sanchez, Tito Puente, or Machito. And the same is true of Live in Brooklyn, a post-bop/hard bop disc that was recorded in a New York City club called the Up Over Jazz Café in 2003. These performances find O'Farrill forming an acoustic piano trio with bassist Andy Gonzalez and drummer Dafnis Prieto; all three of the musicians have Latin credentials, but even so, Afro-Cuban elements are used in moderation when they're used at all. In fact, one needs to pay close attention to hear the Latin influence when the trio turns its attention to Wayne Shorter's "Footprints" and Gonzalez's "Vieques." Other highlights of this 56-minute CD range from Thelonious Monk's "Well, You Needn't" and Horace Silver's "Peace" to two abstract Carla Bley compositions: "Utviklinsang" and "Walking Battery Woman." Live in Brooklyn falls short of exceptional, but it's a decent and noteworthy document of O'Farrill and his colleagues on-stage in 2003.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson