Miguel Zenón: Alma Adentro

Recommended new jazz subtitled The Puerto Rican Songbook.

This album consists of saxophonist Miguel Zenón and his ensemble’s interpretation of popular Puerto Rican songs. The group uses a unique instrumentation. Zenón’s quartet of sax, piano, bass, and drums is backed up by a group of flutes, clarinets, french horns, oboe, bassoon, and english horn. Standout tracks include Silencio, an energetic piece with great ensemble playing, Temes, which starts with just sax and bass and gradually adds in players, and Perfume De Gardenias, a show tune-esque piece that highlights Zenón’s virtuoso playing.

Reviewed by Tommy Strauser

Label: Marsalis Music