Entries tagged with “Danilo Perez”.


My monthly list of recommended CDs, as published in The New York City Jazz Record, February 2014:

Scott Feiner & Pandeiro Jazz, A View from Below (s/r)

Mary Halvorson/Michael Formanek/Tomas Fujiwara, Thumbscrew (Cuneiform)

Jeremy Pelt, Face Forward, Jeremy (HighNote)

Danilo Pérez, Panama 500 (Mack Avenue)

Brandon Ross & Stomu Takeishi, Revealing Essence (Sunnyside)

Helen Sung, Anthem for a New Day (Concord)

This review appears in the September 2010 issue of All About Jazz-New York.

Danilo Pérez, Providencia (Mack Avenue)

By David R. Adler

With Providencia, Danilo Pérez’s first outing on Mack Avenue, the pianist adds at least two new colors to his compositional palette. One is the trenchant alto saxophone of Rudresh Mahanthappa, fulfilling melodic and solo roles on the gutsy second track “Galactic Panama” but featured more heavily during the album’s latter half. It’s a world away from the dulcet woodwind quintet augmenting Pérez’s two-part composition “Bridge of Life,” spread across tracks four and eight. (Both movements rely on Margaret Phillips’s bassoon for rhythmic propulsion, a nice touch.)

Pérez seems intent on maximizing the contrast, as the second woodwind cut leads straight into the fast, bare-knuckle riff of “The Maze: The Beginning,” one of two alto/piano duets. During this and “The Maze: The End,” one could be forgiven for recalling Mahanthappa’s Raw Materials duo with pianist Vijay Iyer, though Pérez’s harmonic language is of course nothing like Iyer’s. The woodwind music is closer in spirit to Wayne Shorter, Pérez’s longtime employer.

Bassist Ben Street and drummer Adam Cruz lock in beautifully throughout the disc, not least on the trio cuts, Carlos Eleta Almaran’s “Historia de un Amor” and Avelino Muñoz’s “Irremediablemente Solo,” both songs from Pérez’s native Panama. Percussionist Jamey Haddad and conguero Ernesto Diaz add yet more layers. So does Cruz with steel pans on the opening 10-minute epic “Daniela’s Chronicles,” a parade of tempestuous themes and virtuoso ensemble work, steeped in romanticism.

Mahanthappa adds a ferocious jolt on “The Oracle,” dedicated to the late Charlie Banacos. Elsewhere the wordless vocals of Sara Serpa lend a rounder, softer quality — certainly when she’s doubling Matt Marvuglio’s flute on the title track, but also when she matches Mahanthappa note-for-note toward the end of the rousing “Cobilla.”

Pérez’s recent collaborations with Claus Ogerman (Across the Crystal Sea) and Jack DeJohnette (Music We Are) were worthy in their way, but Providencia outstrips them. It’s also richer, emotionally and texturally, than Pérez’s “21st-Century Dizzy” venture, a recent Gillespie-themed live project that featured Mahanthappa and Haddad among others. In fact, Providencia is Pérez’s most compelling effort since 2000’s Motherland. The man’s ears are simply formidable, and this is some of the best evidence yet.