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Album Review

From the opening selection of Miguel Zenón's Awake, his fourth CD as a leader, the alto saxophonist demonstrates his diverse musical mind. His originals show surprising maturity, with the individual pieces sounding like part of a larger work, while Zenón's imaginative solos also belie his tender years. The melancholy "Awakening Prelude" provides a subtle introduction with a string quartet accompanying him. His quartet, with pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Hans Glawisching, and drummer Henry Cole, is added for the "Camarón," a dizzying Latin number incorporating some hot bop licks, including a hilarious brief detour into Bud Powell's "Parisian Thoroughfare." "The Missing Piece" is a brooding ballad, with the piano accompaniment suggesting someone pacing the floor. "Awakening Interlude" is wild free jazz, augmenting the quartet with tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, trombonist Ben Gerstein, and trumpeter Michael Rodriguez. The extended work "Santo" initially has a Middle Eastern flavor, with Glawisching playing an unusual arco bassline beneath Zenón's haunting alto, though the piece frequently changes tempo and mood. "Third Dimension" begins with a repeated angular riff, then switches gears, blending elements of hard bop and Latin jazz, culminating with an infectious rhythm, plus a sax theme that is carried over into his unaccompanied finale, "Awakening Postlude." It is little wonder that Miguel Zenón has attracted so much attention during the early part of his career with such strong outings such as Awake.

Customer Reviews


i don't know this album...

Miguel Zenon is out of control on this album!

a must for modern jazz lovers


Born: December 30, 1976 in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Saxophonist and composer Miguel Zenón is one of a select group of jazz musicians who have successfully navigated the often contradictory poles of innovation and tradition. A multi-Grammy nominee, he has developed a unique voice as a composer and conceptualist, concentrating his efforts on perfecting a fine mix between Latin American folk music and jazz. In addition to his numerous dates as a bandleader, Zenón has worked as a sideman with Charlie Haden, David Sánchez, Ray Barretto, the Mingus Big...
Full Bio
Awake, Miguel Zenón
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