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Luis Perdomo: Montage

Mark Corroto By

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The highest praise you can give to a recording by a solo performer is that the music was made just for your ears. Pianist Luis Perdomo's Montage gives just that impression. It's easy to imagine these fifteen tracks were played in your living room, or automobile, for that matter. 

After releasing seven discs as a leader, with sideman like drummers Jack DeJohnette, Rudy Royston, Ralph Peterson, Eric McPherson and Nasheet Waits, bassists Dwayne Burno, Drew Gress, Ugonna Okegwo, and his partner Mimi Jones, here Perdomo goes solo. After a  twenty-plus year career as a sideman to the likes of Ravi Coltrane, Jon Irabagon, and Miguel Zenon, this solo recording is long overdue.

Born in Venezuela, and now a New York resident, he discards his accent and speaks like a true Gothamite  on "Body And Soul." Played as if by request, his approach calls to mind the elegance and economy of Hank Jones. Perdomo also shares Jones' relaxed manner. On "Cal Massey" we hear him stretch his keyboard attack with a two-handed Chick Corea-like attack. He also passes perhaps the ultimate New York litmus test by playing a convincing rendition of "Monk's Dream." Pianists can't fake their way through Thelonious Monk's more difficult compositions. Perdomo masters both the locomotion and the voicing of Monk's meter. 

He would be remiss if he didn't visit the sounds of Caracas. Perdomo spins out the Latin chamber sounds of "La Revuelta de Don Fulgencio," the bolero "Si Te Contara," and a haunting "Mambo Mongo." Listening to Perdomo entertain the ears is simply awe inspiring.

He supplements his written compositions and the covers here with five improvised "Montage" pieces. Each a piece of impressionistic portraiture. The rocking stone two-handed "Montage: Fleeing" gives way to the shadowy "Montage: Sleepwalker," followed by the turbulent "Montage: Angst," the echoing "Montage: Air," and the smile-starter "Montage: The Ascent." Maybe it is self-deception to believe Perdomo made this recording just for your ears, but so what?

Track Listing: Montage: Fleeing; Monk’s Dream; Montage: Sleepwalker; Mambo Mongo; Amani; Montage: Angst; Cal Massey; Si Te Contara; hinking Of You; Montage: Air; The Sky Beyond; La Revuelta de Don Fulgencio; The Boundary Law; Montage: The Ascent; Body And Soul.

Personnel: Luis Perdomo: piano.

Title: Montage | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Hot Tone Music

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