All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

89

The Miguel Zenon Quartet: Half Moon Bay, CA, November 20, 2011

Bill Leikam By

Sign in to view read count
The Miguel Zenón Quartet
Douglas Beach House aka Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society
Half Moon Bay, California
November 20, 2011

On a clear Sunday afternoon, alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón brought on his seasoned quartet to play the Douglas Beach House. With a near-capacity audience, it was a rare gift to hear this quartet—also featuring Venezuelan pianist Luis Perdomo, Austrian bassist Hans Glawischnig and Puerto Rican drummer Henry Cole—led by the Puerto Rican saxophonist extraordinaire. The concert, which ran from late afternoon into the early evening, drew from Zenón's newest album Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook (Marsalis Music, 2011), showcasing tunes from some of Puerto Rico's most renowned composers, among them Pedro Flores' "Perdon" and Sylvia Rexach's title number, "Alma Adentro," which has been selected from the tracks masterfully produced and arranged by Zenón to be nominated for a Grammy in the Best Large Ensemble Album category.

Clearly the band has played together for years, because its members expressed a unity, a tightness of performance not easily equaled. Perdomo led the opening "Alma Adentro," from the Steinway grand piano, with Cole delicately coming in, using mallets on his cymbals. Glawischnig easily held down the back end and flowed right into the piece until Zenón slipped in on his sax, slow and haunting. Gradually, the tempo picked up as the sax faded and Perdomo's piano took the lead, his fingers moving with a nimble, dynamic flurry over the keyboard. Cole replaced his mallets with sticks, using them to knock out quick, vibrant rim shots, when suddenly, Zenón burst in to take over the lead once again. As the fire and fury of the piece developed, Zenón accentuated his playing by moving as though he were dancing, in order to punctuate the notes and add flare to his music. Overall, the piece flowed like waves rising and falling, with quick, honking runs up the sax and then slowly back down. It was a powerful piece that reached out and took hold of the audience, .as attested by the applause.

"Temes" by Tite Curet Alonso exemplified the variety of music on the superb Alma Adentro, here opening with only Zenón and Glawischnig playing back and forth with one another, setting the tempo and mood for what was to come. The music was always on the move, changing—sometimes sad, other times spirited and uplifting. Cole and Perdomo backed Zenón and Glawischnig, as Zenón made his sax talk—not only to the other musicians but to his audience as well.

One remarkable drummer, Cole firmly grounded the quartet, but did not become as overbearing as some jazz drummers tend to be, demonstrating a unique ability to make precise, in-the-moment changes that were needed as the music unfolded. Perdomo executed numerous complex passages, making them seem as though they were child's play, and clearly having fun when he was a featured instrumentalist along with Zenón. Bassist Glawischnig held down the background rhythm with the finesse of a truly well-schooled musician, while Zenón demonstrated a unique ability to make his sax shout out, riding the waves of the music as he expressed a spectrum of emotion and adding fire and ice to everything he played. He has internalized his gift for music so much that he became completely consumed with it, nearly dancing as he played. Zenón is a unique performer and a stellar musician who gave his audience a fresh taste of Latin music.

Photo Credit

Tom Ehrlich

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
In Pictures
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Tipico

Tipico

Miel Music
2017

buy
Identities Are Changeable

Identities Are...

Miel Music
2015

buy
Identities Are Changeable

Identities Are...

Miel Music
2014

buy
 

Oye!!! - Live In...

Point of Departure, WMPG-FM
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Detroit Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Detroit Jazz Festival 2018
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews
Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia 2018 Live Reviews
Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2018
Read Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood Vampires, Black Asteroids & Paul Lamb Live Reviews
Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood...
by Martin Longley
Published: September 16, 2018
Read Binker & Moses At London's Jazz Cafe Live Reviews
Binker & Moses At London's Jazz Cafe
by Chris May
Published: September 15, 2018
Read 12 Points 2018 Live Reviews
12 Points 2018
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 14, 2018
Read "7 Mile House Jazz Festival 2018" Live Reviews 7 Mile House Jazz Festival 2018
by Walter Atkins
Published: March 25, 2018
Read "Lisa Bjorange at Bullret Jazz Club" Live Reviews Lisa Bjorange at Bullret Jazz Club
by Patrick Burnette
Published: February 2, 2018
Read "CEO Experiment With Kurt Rosenwinkel at The Sugar Club" Live Reviews CEO Experiment With Kurt Rosenwinkel at The Sugar Club
by Ian Patterson
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "Istanbul Jazz Festival 2018" Live Reviews Istanbul Jazz Festival 2018
by Luke Seabright
Published: July 12, 2018
Read "Trish Clowes at Mermaid Arts Centre" Live Reviews Trish Clowes at Mermaid Arts Centre
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 17, 2018