Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Miguel Zenon: Esta Plena

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Fresh off of garnering his mantelpiece-polishing Guggenheim and MacArthur awards, alto saxophonist and composer Miguel Zenón gets back down to the business of making some serious music. No, what we hear on Zenón’s impressive new project isn’t steeped in the stuff of music of a capital “S”-serious nature, but music with integrity, energy, poise and a fresh vision of how the Afro-Caribbean jazz aesthetic can evolve without losing its deep roots.

More specifically, with Esta Plena, Zenón has construed a compelling merger of both his jazz persona with investigations into the folkloric plena music of his native Puerto Rico, both in composition and performance, via the blending of bands from each tradition. Zenón, the player, works in plenty of evidence for the defense of his status in the upper ranks of living alto saxophonists.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.