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Luis Perdomo: Twenty-Two

Dan Bilawsky By

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In 1993, a twenty-two year old pianist named Luis Perdomo left Venezuela and arrived in New York City, eager to further his education and pursue his musical dreams. Now, twenty-two years later, Perdomo can certainly look back with a sense of accomplishment, having made a significant impact on the scene through his leader dates and important sideman contributions with tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon, and numerous others.

The music on Twenty-Two was inspired by that pivotal move in '93, but Perdomo doesn't look back with rose-colored glasses or allow nostalgia to hamper musical progress. Yes, there are moments of reflection and the occasional strains of romanticism to be found here; and no, this certainly isn't the thorniest or most progressive date under the pianist's name. But Perdomo can't really be accused of being too sentimental here. He looks at the edgier side of things in painting the visage of The Big Apple in '93 on "Old City," he delivers unsettled and unsettling sounds in "Two Sides Of A Goodbye," and he absolutely cooks on "Cota Mil." He also knows how to simply cut loose and have a good time, demonstrated during the funky and fiery "Looking Through You" and the fugal-turned-grooving "Brand New Grays."

While Twenty-Two is really Perdomo's story to tell, he's certainly not the only narrator in the mix. Through this music, he introduces Controlling Ear Unit—a trio featuring the earthy Mimi Jones on bass and the ubiquitous Rudy Royston on drums. Each musician plays a different part in these performances. Jones, for the most part, is responsible for bringing a sense of grounding and focus to the music, be it through melodically direct soloing or rhythmic buttressing; Royston brings a fluid sense of percussive flow to this narrative, whether playing with fire or finesse; and Perdomo is the eloquent author, masterfully laying out his stories for all to admire. Together, all three players manage to bring Perdomo's vivid narratives to life.

Track Listing: Love Tone Poem; Old City; Weilheim; A Different Side Of Reality; Two Sides Of A Goodbye; Light Slips In; Looking Through You; How Deep Is Your Love; Aaychdee; Cota Mil; Brand New Grays; Days Gone Days Ahead.

Personnel: Luis Perdomo: piano, electric piano (4, 6, 7, 10, 12); Mimi Jones: bass, vocals (9); Rudy Royston: drums.

Title: Twenty-Two | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Hot Tone Music

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