Exclusive First Listen: Miguel Zenón, 'Esta Plena'

Date: 10.14.2009
Publication: NPR.org
Author: Josh Jackson


Saxophonist Miguel Zenón’s career has taken a relentlessly upward trajectory over the past decade. He’s a 2008 winner of the prestigious Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships, as well as a founding member of the SF Jazz Collective. All the while, Zenón has investigated his Puerto Rican roots with a quiet resolve. On his new recording, Esta Plena, he’s distilled his musical history into a clear conception: a cultural exchange between jazz and the folkloric form known as plena.
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Submitted by Ben on October 14th, 2009 — 12:00am

Review: Miguel Zenón at Jazz Showcase "…this music deserves to be heard at full cry."

Date: 10.10.2009
Publication: Chicago Tribune
Author: Howard Reich


Since its inception, jazz has been an international music, drawing deeply on influences from the Caribbean, Africa and Europe.

But its global voice never has been more pronounced than in the past 20 years, thanks to the stylistic breakthroughs of Panamanian pianist Danilo Perez, Puerto Rican saxophonist David Sanchez, Chilean vocalist Claudia Acuña and many more.
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Submitted by Ben on October 10th, 2009 — 12:00am

Miguel Zenón: A jazz genius takes on Puerto Rico

Date: 10.09.2009
Publication: Chicago Tribune
Author: Howard Reich


The music of Puerto Rico has played in Miguel Zenón’s imagination since his childhood in San Juan, where he was born.

But it wasn’t until a few years ago that he began to examine his musical heritage in depth, with remarkable results (and we refer not only to the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, or “genius grant,” he was awarded in 2008).
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Submitted by Ben on October 9th, 2009 — 12:00am

Album Review: Miguel Zenón's 'Esta Plena'

Date: 10.04.2009
Publication: About.com
Author: Jacob Teichroew


Miguel Zenón’s Esta Plena is a continuation of the saxophonist’s previous work, complete with exuberant melodies and voluble phrases that float above knotty rhythmic terrain. The core group, featuring pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Hans Glawischnig, and drummer Henry Cole, is the same heard on Zenón’s last album, Awake, although Esta Plena is fitted around traditional Puerto Rican plena music.
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Submitted by Ben on October 4th, 2009 — 12:00am

Feeling a global influence

As music director of Machito and his Afro-Cubans in the 1940s, the late Cuban saxophonist and bandleader Mario Bauzá was a key figure in the development of what came to be known as Latin jazz. Yet, he often railed against the term.

I don’t know what they’re talking about when people talk about Latin jazz,” he would say impatiently. “Nobody is playing Latin jazz. What they are playing is Afro-Cuban jazz.”

Then, point made, he would allow exceptions. Read more »

Submitted by admin on October 4th, 2009 — 12:00am