Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Arturo O'Farrill Sextet - Boss Level (2016)

Source & Label: Zoho

I used to hate video games and blamed the world’s evils on them. That’s easy to do, blame something unrelated for something else. Then I had offspring. One Christmas I relented and we got a game system. Christmas Eve, I started to gift wrap the system and thought “why not?” Let’s make sure this thing works and is age appropriate (I was 37 at the time).

Three hours later, I feel exhilarated. I’ve been floating, running, jumping, swimming, sliding, disappearing, materializing and having an amazing time. All set to a cartoonlike music that is as wide stylistically as the worlds are geographically. And what worlds: desert worlds, underwater worlds, space worlds, haunted worlds, an endless assortment of colors, sights, and sounds.

At every world, one gains mastery over skills that allow you to move to the next, balancing, thinking, timing, and reflex skills. It’s either learn them or game over. At the end of each world, you must fight the boss. And, me oh my, what bosses! Big rainbow-colored bosses, slithery serpent-like bosses, tiny bosses, bosses that breath fire, bosses that stomp on you, in short, bosses with no charm whatsoever.

Believe it or not, life is somewhat like this, a place of magic and adventure, a place of many worlds, many skills and, most certainly, evil and un-charming battles. But herein lies the tale. As you rise to meet the challenges the universe throws at you, as you slay the dragons and bosses that would steal from you your joy and essence, you realize that, like a video game, none of this really belongs to us, that joy comes from within, from your determination, from your mastery, and that until you get that final game over, this is a fine place to be after all. Read more...

01. Miss Stephanie 8:33
02. True That 7:18
03. The Moon Follows Us Wherever We Go 9:11
04. Circle Games 7:50
05. Maine Song 7:13
06. Compay Doug 8:47
07. Not Now, Right Now 5:06
08. In Whom I Am Well Pleased 9:29
09. V. F. S. 6:31
10. Peace 4:22 

Livio Almeida tenor saxophone
Shawn Conley bass
Adam O’Farrill trumpet
Arturo O’Farrill piano
Zack O’Farrill drums
Travis Reuter guitar