In the liner notes to their latest record, Pa’lante (Quadrant Records), drummer Zack O’ Farrill of the collective Marques-Stinson-O’ Farrill writes:
Together we’re not sure how to label the music we play. International rural-suburban-urban through-composed free Latin groove jazz? The label isn’t important. What is important is that this music is the product of three friends, none of whom really fits in with any group of people.
Bassist Walter Stinson and pianist Albert Marques make up the other two pillars of this band, and we caught up with the trio by phone to talk about how the band came together, musical eclecticism, and Power Rangers, among other things.
The Jazz Gallery: How’d you guys meet?
Zack O’ Farrill: When Albert first came to New York from Paris, he started coming to a youth jazz orchestra that my dad and I run at Fat Cat. He started coming and playing, and even though he was just a little bit older than the other students—like, between 7-10 years old than anyone else there—I thought it was very humble of a young pianist to come. He wasn’t looking to come and press my dad and get my dad’s sponsorship as a new pianist—he really just came to hang out. It was actually a few weeks until I spoke to him.
Albert Marques: I moved here from Paris without a visa, money, or contacts. I knew zero musicians and had zero money.
ZO: Albert was working 12 hours a day, six days a week, at a restaurant and then going to jam sessions every night until 4 or 5. And on Sunday, his one day off, he went to rehearse with us!
AM: But you know what, you have to love it!
Walter Stinson: I met Albert first; he had a concert at his house and I met him through a friend. We played one gig at his house and then we were playing in the same band, and I remember Albert said, ‘Yeah man, we’re going to do something. It was really nice to play together.’ He told me he had met this drummer Zack, whom I had met very briefly at Purchase—
ZO: Small world story right there.
WS: —And we didn’t formally meet then, but Albert set up a band and I had just moved to New York. It was exactly what I needed at the time: we met and played and that’s where it started, at our first rehearsal at City College. (more…)