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Five Albums I Can't Do Without

Arturo O'Farrill took over the baton of the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra from his father, Latin jazz pioneer Chico O'Farrill.
John Abbott
/
Courtesy of the artist
Arturo O'Farrill took over the baton of the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra from his father, Latin jazz pioneer Chico O'Farrill.

These are records that freaked me out when I first discovered the music we call jazz. Though not necessarily life-giving — you can't eat them, they don't give you shelter and, last I checked, I can't get paid for listening to them — they are life-defining. And what I've discovered is that these records don't grow stale, like so many others, but instead inform and help shape my work to this day.

Today, this list might seem basic, but these records were among the first jazz albums I listened to — and wore out — and they truly changed my life.

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Arturo O'Farrill