Folk Art: On Esta Plena, saxophonist Miguel Zenón matches the proletarian plena music of his native Puerto Rico with modern-jazz ethos

Date: 11.01.2009
Publication: Jazz Times
Author: Fernando Gonzalez


Smart and tough, the music on saxophonist Miguel Zenón’s Esta Plena (Marsalis) often evokes the sounds of his neighborhood back in Puerto Rico. But Esta Plena is not about nostalgia- it’s about a certain wisdom.
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Submitted by Ben on November 1st, 2009 — 12:00am

Natural Phenomenon-Gracefully powerful and effortlessly swinging, 18-year-old drum prodigy Justin Faulkner is dropping jaws with the Branford Marsalis Quartet

Date: 11.01.2009
Publication: Jazz Times
Author: Shaun Brady

 

During the last week of August, Justin Faulkner essentially bade farewell to Philadelphia by filling a familiar role-playing house drummer behind vibraphonist Tony Miceli for the weekly jam session at Chris’ Jazz Café.
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Submitted by Ben on November 1st, 2009 — 12:00am

Miguel Zenón gets back down to the business of making some serious music.

Fresh off of garnering his mantelpiece-polishing Guggenheim and MacArthur awards, alto saxophonist and composer Miguel Zenón gets back down to the business of making some serious music. No, what we hear on Zenón’s impressive new project isn’t steeped in the stuff of music of a capital “S”-serious nature, but music with integrity, energy, poise and a fresh vision of how the Afro-Caribbean jazz aesthetic can evolve without losing its deep roots. Read more »

Submitted by admin on November 1st, 2009 — 12:00am

Fine Plena Indeed: Esta Plena is notable for the quality of the jazz musicianship and the infectious rhythm of the panderos.

Date: 10.30.2009
Publication: World Music Central
Author: Angel Romero

If Marsalis Music signs you, it means you are above average in the world of American jazz. Puerto Rican saxophonist Miguel Zenón proved his worth at a young age. Last year Zenón was granted both a MacArthur and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008 and he has already recorded four albums for the reputable Marsalis Music. The latest release is Esta Plena. As the name implies, this recording is dedicated to one of the great musical traditions of Puerto Rico, the plena, reinterpreted with the approach of 21st century jazz.
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Submitted by Ben on October 30th, 2009 — 12:00am

Claudia Acuña: Opening a new door in her charmed career

“Oh, you have a dog! Oh. I want a dog so bad,” vocalist Claudia Acuña says after hearing the household canine on the other end of the phone, Rocky, barking at a passing pickup.

Learning that Rocky is a black Lab / Shepherd cross, she instantly snaps, “I hate you,” and dissolves into giggles. “Labradors are one of my favorites.”

Acuña’s heart sits close to the surface, and if it’s touched, her heart leaps up into her luscious alto—where it resides throughout her latest CD, En Este Momento (Marsalis Records). Read more »

Submitted by admin on October 30th, 2009 — 12:00am