CD: Miguel Zenón

Miguel Zenón, Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook (Marsalis Music).

When Zenón won a MacArthur “genius grant” Fellowship in 2008, he said that it would allow him to further his goal of exploring and disseminating the music of his native Puerto Rico. Alma Adentro carries forward that work. If it lacks the raw excitement of much of his 2009 Esta Plena, the new album brings satisfactions through elegance and depth of sophistication in classic songs by major Puertorriqueño composers. The fire and liquidity of Zeñon’s alto saxophone work is beautifully set in Guillermo Klein’s ensemble arrangements. Zeñon’s quintet is, simply, one of the best bands in jazz today. You may feel compelled to dance.

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