eMusic Review 0
Stylish and sexy, yet light-hearted and free-wheeling, In These Shoes feels like the first Arturo O'Farrill record where the pianist isn't beholden to his straight-ahead jazz bona fides or the towering legacy of his father, Chico O'Farrill. Instead, abetted by the game and versatile Chilean vocalist Claudia Acuña, O'Farrill provides marvelous Latin arrangements for such mainstream fare as Van Morrison's "Moondance" and the standard (here sped-up) ballad "Willow Weep For Me." He nods toward the dance floor on a cover of Batacumbele's "Jibarito" and the salsa groove of Ruben Blades' "Dime" and folds three-ply percussion and a rubbery bass line in with Acuña's vocalese on "Agua." Acuña also vamps it up on the campy title track, rolls her Spanish "r's" with a purr and a snarl on "Vida Sin Miel," and shimmers on the understated power ballad "Paciencia." Throw in the sunnyside-up, African-style guitar line on "California" and O'Farrill's spry, crisp-noted keyboard lines on most every track and you've got a wide-ranging, deep-seated collection of enjoyable tunes.