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Luis Perdomo: The Infancia Project (2012)

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Luis Perdomo: The Infancia Project How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Pianist Luis Perdomo's presence is marked by attributes that include lyricism, depth and adaptability. The onetime member of saxophonist Ravi Coltrane
Ravi Coltrane
Ravi Coltrane
b.1965
sax, tenor
's quartet has worked on many releases for artists like trombonist Steve Turre
Steve Turre
Steve Turre
b.1948
trombone
and saxophonist Miguel Zenon
Miguel Zenon
Miguel Zenon
b.1976
saxophone
. His visibility is coming more into focus with The Infancia Project, which the New York-based pianist avoided making for many years over concerns of being typecast as "just another" Latin jazz musician.

While the project's flavor is influenced by the rich ethnic sounds of Perdomo's upbringing in Caracus, Venezuela, it identifies both the pianist's past and present, one that is deep-rooted yet equally progressive, as witnessed on 2012's A Universal Mind, which featured drum great Jack DeJohnette
Jack DeJohnette
Jack DeJohnette
b.1942
drums
, and 2006's dual-rhythm section Awareness, both on Coltrane's RKM label.

The set benefits from both the pianist's fine playing and his carefully chosen session players, starting with the first bars of the"The Other Left," its complex clave rhythms provided by percussionist Mauricio Herrera and drummer Ignacio Berroa. Bassist Andy Gonzalez
Andy Gonzalez
b.1951
introduces saxophonist Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
b.1930
sax, alto
's "Happy House," here transformed into an alluring groove-dance, while edgy trade-offs between Perdomo and Mark Shim
Mark Shim
Mark Shim
b.1973
sax, tenor
's exceptional deep toned saxophone on trumpeter Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
' "Solar" demonstrate the fire and verve that elevates the entire set beyond any typecast recording.

Perdomo explores diverse moods and shapes, from the pulsating interpretation of pianist Bud Powell
Bud Powell
Bud Powell
1924 - 1966
piano
's "Un Poco Loco" to the tranquil trio take of J.A. Espino's "Comedia." There are fireworks, yet also frosty grooves ("Berimvela," "Mind Time") that feature Perdomo on Fender Rhodes, his lithesome keying, Shim's throaty voicing, and the rhythm section's infectious grooves providing a low-temperature heat.

DeJohnette's "closing Major General" demands an encore from this group. It's a breathtaking whirlwind, featuring a rousing drum solo from Berroa. The timing forThe Infancia Project is right, yet long overdue; here's hoping Perdomo records again with this excellent ensemble.


Track Listing: The Other Left; Berimvela; Solar; Happy House; Comedia; Un Poco Loco; Meggido Girl; Mind And Time; Major General.

Personnel: Luis Perdomo: piano, Fender Rhodes; Mark Shim: tenor saxophone; Andy Gonzalez: bass; Ignacio Berroa: drums; Mauricio Herrera: percussion.

Record Label: Criss Cross

Style: Latin/World


Featured recording “The Infancia Project”

The Infancia Project

Criss Cross (2012)
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