Arturo O'Farrill & Claudia Acuna: Moondance
In These Shoes (Zoho Music ZM 200808)
Michael Mossman (trumpet), Reynaldo Jorge (trombone), Yosvany Terry (alto & tenor saxes), Adam Rogers (guitar), Ruben Rodriguez (bass), Dafnis Prieto (drums), Pedrito Martinez (percussion, vocals).
Composed by Van Morrison; arranged by Arturo O’Farrill.
Recorded: Englewood, NJ
Rating: 91/100 (learn more)
This version of "Moondance" retains the spirit of the original song while employing decidedly un-Morrison arrangements. Beginning with a sprightly acoustic guitar waltz said to be inspired by the Venezuelan genre of Joropo, the listener can't be faulted for thinking that maybe the song has been mislabeled. This is "Moondance"? Well, Claudia Acuna's crystalline voice comes in, fitting the expected melody perfectly in its place. Arturo O'Farrill lifts the end of the chorus with some ascending piano figures that introduce the middle section, which seems to be Coltrane-inspired (the liner notes confirm this). Acuna's voice is then accented by its lone pairing with some simple percussion before the group heads again back into the chorus and conclusion. An exhilarating twist on the Morrison classic.
Reviewer: Mark Saleski