Miguel Zenón’s ‘Esta Plena’ and Claudia Acuña’s ‘En Este Momento’ are two of Howard Reich’s “Top 10 innovative jazz releases of 2009” featured in the Chicago Tribune! Reich writes that these releases represent “Innovative work abounded in 2009, with particularly strong contributions from Chicago artists.” Congratulations, Miguel and Claudia!
Here are the descriptions of the two Marsalis Music releases from Reich’s list:
“Claudia Acuña: “En Este Momento” (Marsalis Music). Five years is a long time since Acuña’s last CD, but this one is worth the wait. On “En Este Momento” (“In This Moment”), Acuña boldly sings most of the tracks in her native Spanish, but the fervency of her lines, radiance of her tone and originality of her instrumental settings distinguish her from peers (who are few).
Miguel Zenón: “Esta Plena” (Marsalis Music). Alto saxophonist Zenón won a MacArthur “genius grant” in 2008 for his efforts in bringing musical idioms of his native Puerto Rico to jazz. With “Esta Plena” (“This Is Plena”), he underscores the promise of that campaign. The instrumental prowess of Zenón’s playing, the vigor of his compositions and the sensitivity of his band to Puerto Rican song forms point to new possibilities in jazz.”