117

Miguel Zenon: Awake

Tom Greenland By

Sign in to view read count
Miguel Zenon: Awake From its very first notes (played by a string quartet), Awake is identifiably Miguel Zenon: lyrical, spiritual and original. For his fourth date as a leader Zenon reunites his go-to posse—Luis Perdomo (piano) and Hans Glawischnig (bass)—but with a key change in the drum chair, Henry Cole replacing Antonio Sanchez.

The strings are artfully employed on the opener as a contrapuntal foil for Zenon's featherlight interweavings and on "Lamamilla" as a trilling texture evoking birdcalls; Tony Malaby, Michael Rodriguez and Ben Gerstein (on tenor, trumpet and trombone, respectively) make a brief cameo as a free jazz "choir' on "Awakening—Interlude." The compositions are first-rate, especially the anthemic "Camaron" (named for the great flamenco cantaor), the haunting "The Missing Piece," the Middle-Eastern-flavored "Santo" and the dense and off-kiltered "Third Dimension." Zenon's alto work is scintillating and effervescent; with a full, unforced tone he facilely negotiates the horn's total register, delivering up tightly constructed, rapid-fire lines containing chain-linked motifs and complex inner motion that, for all their logic and density, nonetheless retain a certain levity and grace.

In person at New York's Jazz Standard Apr. 30th, 2008, Zenon's group opened with a rousing rendition of "Camaron," capped by a no-holds-barred alto cadenza. Next was the hyperdriven "Residencial Llorens Torres," followed by a bittersweet "Amor," featuring a solo sax interlude in which Zenon slowly worked a minimalist melody into passages of lyric poetry, the room falling quiet in appreciation. Finally, a fast and funky "Third Dimension" found Zenon bobbing and weaving like a boxer as his improvisation intensified, Perdomo and Glawischnig providing support with rolling climaxes, and Cole launching salvos of bass drum bombs.


Track Listing: Awakening - Prelude; Camar

Personnel: Miguel Zen

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Marsalis Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Everybody Has A Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth" CD/LP/Track Review Everybody Has A Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth
by Doug Collette
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure" CD/LP/Track Review The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Sus" CD/LP/Track Review Sus
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "Oddara" CD/LP/Track Review Oddara
by James Nadal
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Portraits and Places" CD/LP/Track Review Portraits and Places
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 31, 2016
Read "Songs From Afar" CD/LP/Track Review Songs From Afar
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!