Highly Recommended Jazz Album: EL ARTE DEL BOLERO: VOLUME 2 (Miguel Zenón, sax, and Luis Perdomo, piano)

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by Tony Frankel on November 13, 2023

in CD-DVD,Music


I know when you hear “Latin Jazz” you think congas and dancing rhythms, but this beautifully produced and played album is — and I say this in a good way — cocktail jazz done as dreamy New Age on a breezy afternoon sipping a mojito. It’s not sappy Easy Listening Jazz, but a showcase for the beauty of the Latin-American Songbook and the Bolero in particular. Now, the duo of saxophonist/composer Miguel Zenón and pianist Luis Perdomo have earned a 2024 Grammy® nomination in the category of “Best Latin Jazz Album” for their gorgeously reflective album El Arte Del Bolero Vol. 2.

The album expands on the initial concept of El Arte Del Bolero Vol. 1 while maintaining the intent of playing songs the artists know and love. The process of choosing the repertoire began with the question, “Tu sabes que canción es bien buena?” (“You know which song is really good?”). Discussions about which versions to study, which keys to use, and which arrangements were the most inspirational followed. Melding their jazz sensibilities with the original spirit of the music, Zenón and Perdomo deliver alluring, forward-thinking performances while keeping the songs center stage. “The Latin-American Songbook is so vast and varied that it naturally lends itself to limitless explorations,” says Zenón in the liner notes. “We purposely looked beyond the Caribbean (exploring composers from México, Venezuela and Panamá, for example) because we wanted to emphasize the point that these songs deserved to be explored and recognized for what they are, beyond labels, categories and regionalisms. Just beautiful music that is a joy to perform and listen to.”

Luis Perdomo and Miguel Zenón

El Arte Del Bolero Vol.2
Miguel Zenón – alto saxophone
Luis Perdomo – piano

1. En La Oscuridad (Rafael Solano Sánchez/ Peer International Corp.) – 6:57
2. Paula C (Rubén Blades/ Rubén Blades Pub.) – 8:17
3. En La Soledad (Puchi Balseiro/ Peer International Corp.) – 5:42
4. Motivos (Italo Pizzolante/ Leo Musical, S.A. De C.V.) – 7:52
5. Caballo Viejo (Simón Díaz/ Wc Music Corp.) – 8:01
6. Mucho Corazón (Eva Elena Valdelamar/ Peer International Corp.) – 6:36
7. Silencio (Rafael Hernández Marín/ Peer International Corp.) – 7:41

Recorded at Big Orange Sheep (Brooklyn, NY) May 16th, 2023
By Michael Perez-Cisneros
Mixed by Danilo Pichardo and Miguel Zenón
Mastered by Danilo Pichardo
Graphic Design by Abdiel Flores, WIGO Design
Photo by Jimmy Katz

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