updated on December 29, 2008
It is never a surprise when a Caribbean musician takes an interest in improvisation and seeks to fuse his native rhythms with the fundamentals of Classic Jazz. However, the Jazz and Plena aficionados who filled up the Jazz Gallery in TriBeCa to witness Miguel Zenón’s Plena-Jazz fusion in development must have been pleasantly surprised.
Miguel Zenón had previously delved headlong into the study of Puerto Rico’s traditional music with the help of PR’s Plena masters, some of whom accompanied him at the Gallery on this December date.
Zenón led a band of three Plena percussionists-vocalists and four Jazz instrumentalists through a set of original songs that paid tribute to the neighbourhoods where Plena music still thrives today.
Zenón was backed by his working band of Luis Perdomo on piano, Hans Glawischnig on bass and Henry Cole on drums. They were complemented by Plena master Tito Matos on requinto (a tambourine-like instrument) who lent his voice to several of the songs.
“He kept very faithful to the rhythmic format of Plena,” Matos said, speaking of Zenón”and he let me sing about how I play my instrument and the joy it brings to me.”
What joy that must have been for the Jazz Gallery faithful. (Source: newsday.com)