September 24, 2011 12:21 am

Miguel Zenon: Alma Adentro

A studio-produced album from the Puerto Rican saxophonist

The pure-toned alto saxophonist captures the romance of his Puerto Rican heritage with clean cadenzas and the sway of a 10-piece wind ensemble – the album is subtitled The Puerto Rican Songbook.

The core pulse is contemporary modern, fuelled by a cracking rhythm section, but the swirl of flutes, woodwind and horns adds authenticity as well as textures, and is impressively integrated into the whole – the studio-produced album was live recorded. Zenon remains the focus, surging through the orchestral layers and burning to a climax.

Miguel Zenon

Alma Adentro

(Marsalis Music)

4 stars

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