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Author: George Harris
Date: November 20, 2011
It’s not often that you hear something that is not only new, but also enjoyable. Alto saxist Miguel Zenón seems to have found a new path for jazz by melding traditional music from his native Puerto Rico with John Coltrane-esque jazz with his team of Luis Perdomo, Hans Glawischnig/b and Henry Cole/dr . Together, they created music that combined the romanticism of latin melodies with the adventureness of modern jazz, satisfying both soul and mind in a way rarely achieved these days. Promoting his latest album Alma Adentro, Zenón opened with “Silencio,” featuring Zenón’s searing alto penetrating through the complex rhythms created by Cole’s multilayered percussion, Perdomo’s cascading piano, and Glawischnig’s nimble and intricate bass work. The title track, a ballad, spotlighted Zenón’s agonizing alto, melding together with the rhythm section’s folk melodies and complex beats. A pair of tunes from an upcoming album, “Identities Are Changeable” and “Through Culture and Tradition” mixed samples of New York Puerto Rican’s dialogue on cultural identity with some post bop grooves. He started slowing down the set with “Temes” which was centered around a serenade between alto sax and bass, with Zenón sounding like an aching and forlorn lover, as his horn cried to the audience. His closing tune of the sultry “Juguett” left the audience wanting more, as with most flavorful meals, you felt like one more bite would just do the trick. Fascinating rhythms with the passion of Puerto Rico meeting the fever of 52nd Street . Don’t miss him next time out!