The Importance Of Longevity: Miguel Zenón Quartet Performing Cantor

by chipboaz on April 12, 2017

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There’s something to be said for longevity in jazz – it’s an idea that’s so important to the music, but it’s often disregarded in the modern era. The music was always built to be something that required people to stay committed over an extended period. It’s a music that demands long periods of practice for musical mastery and years of practical experience. It’s a performance art that benefits from musical relationships that have stood the test of time; one that gets better each time a common group of musicians share the stage. Jazz gets better with age, and we see that idea reflected in every aspect of the music. It’s a concept at odds with the modern glorification of youth and instant gratification; yet, we can’t loose site of the long term in jazz – it’s just too important.

This idea of longevity certainly applies to musical relationships, which makes a consistent group like the Miguel Zenón Quartet an artistic goldmine. The group is currently celebrating over 15 years of collaboration, an incredible amount of time by modern standards. Pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Hans Glawischnig, and drummer Henry Cole have worked in support of Zenón’s music through a variety of projects, including the folkloric Esta Plena, the big band textures and spoken word of Identities Are Changeable, the wind ensemble exploration of Puerto Rican popular song on Alma Adentro, and more. These have been academically challenging, musically advanced, and artistically intricate projects that demanded the most of each musician – and they’ve always been up to the task. This sort of long term dedication to a project has fueled a powerful connection between the musicians, and the result is an almost telepathic syncronisity. The quartet most recently recorded Tipico, an involved reflection of the band in its current state, which shows four musicians working as one, performing music at a mind bogglingly high level. Today’s video features the group demonstrating the benefits of longevity with a song from Tipico, “Cantor.”

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