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'A' game shine. High flying birds, with magic, joy, intelligence and fun. Carefully crafted and cohesively perfect.
“He wasn’t just one of the guys. For me, he was beyond that” says the brilliant saxophonist and composer Miguel Zenón about Ismael (“Maelo”) Rivera (1931-1987), the subject of Zenón’s new album Sonero: The Music of Ismael Rivera. “He exemplified the highest level of artistry. He was like Bird, Mozart, Einstein, Ali – he was that guy.” For his twelfth album as a leader, Zenón and his quartet offer a tribute to a musician who influenced him from childhood. Rivera, who grew up in Santurce, not far from Zenón’s home turf was familiarly known as Maelo, and is a popular hero in Puerto Rico today, even more than 30 years after his death. “When people talk about him, they talk about him as you would about a legendary figure,” says Zenón. On the other side of the Caribbean, in Colombia, Venezuela, Panamá, he’s as popular as he is in Puerto Rico. But in the wider world, he’s not as well known. “One of my main goals here,” Zenón says, “is that I want everyone to know about him.” One of jazz's most original thinkers,Zenón is known for his harmonic complexity and for being one of the most recognizable alto saxophonists of his generation. His great subject is his homeland of Puerto Rico. Zenón brings a fresh take on it every time out, combining reverence for cultural tradition with strong compositional chops. No one else's Puerto Rico — and no one else's jazz — sounds like Miguel Zenón's.
Intro/Maelo A Capella; Quítate de La Vía, Perico; Las Tumbas; El Negro Bembón; La Gata Montesa; Traigo Salsa; Las Caras Lindas; Hola; Colobó; Si Te Contara; El Nazareno.
Miguel Zenón: alto saxophone; Luis Perdomo: piano; Hans Glawischnig: bass; Henry Cole: drums.
September 24, 2019
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