Bill O'Connell


Savant SCD 2197
Bill O'Connell
A Change Is Gonna Come

It may be wintertime now, 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 since he was a Grammy finalist in the Best Instrumental Arrangement category. 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.

BILL O'CONNELL, all arrangements, piano & Fender Rhodes • Craig Handy, tenor & soprano saxophone • Lincoln Goines, acoustic & electric bass • Steve Jordan, drums • Pedrito Martinez, percussion

TRACKS: Moment’s Notice • Loco-Motive • Covid Blues • A Change Is Gonna Come • Sun for Sonny • Enough is Enough • Sweet Peanut • A Prayer for Us • Chaos • My Foolish Heart

 Sun for Sonny

 A Change Is Gonna Come

 Covid Blues


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