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Monday, Nov. 28, 2011

Miguel Zenón

Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook (Marsalis Music)

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Having skyrocketed in critical consensus as the hottest young alto player in jazz, Miguel Zenón makes his most mature, personal statement to date. He explores 10 deeply modulated and infectious songs from great Puerto Rican songwriters. These Zenón-arranged and Guillermo Klein-orchestrated pieces for chamber ensemble brim with exquisitely pressurized dynamics and sumptuous yet fleeting textures, often leading to explosive climaxes. Zenón's crystalline tone can hover as limpid as Paul Desmond's, yet surge, in a few fell swoops, to the edge where only the most intrepid players dare. Rhythmic fire, lyrical beauty and wellsprings of passion rarely blend so gloriously.