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Album Review

Altoist Miguel Zenón, a talented player with a tone almost as light as Paul Desmond's who first gained recognition for his work while with David Sanchez's group, pays tribute to the musical culture of Puerto Rico on Jibaro. Although he wrote all ten of the selections and does not use traditional Puerto Rican instrumentation (which would be cuatro, guiro, bongo, and vocals), Zenón brings back the spirit of his heritage. With its polyrhythms and Zenón's wide-ranging improvisations, one could call this new music avant-Latin, although it not as outside as some of Sanchez's work, but the rich themes and tight communication by the members of Zenón's quartet show that the modernized style has a logic and charm all its own. This is an impressive effort, one that grows in interest with each listen.

Customer Reviews


The first song on this album stops and skips to the second one after 2:22. I haven't checked whole the rest of the album but I imagine that similar problems exist elsewhere.

However, it is a beautiful and brilliant work. Zenon is a compositional genius and he and his band bring an amazing life to the music they play.


Born: 1977 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