Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bienestan @ Jazz Standard 8/21/11

The project is named after a fictitious country.  It's co-led by Aaron Goldberg on piano and Guillermo Klein on keyboard and they assembled an awesome ensemble with Matt Penman on bass, Eric Harland on drums, and Miguel Zenon on sax.  The listing says Reuban Rogers on bass, but I guess he couldn't make it.  Matt did just fine.

The music was awesome.  I found myself especially caught by the piano and the bass.  The sax was awesome, also.  They were all great and the music flowed nicely.  Guillermo wrote most of the songs and a couple had his vocals as well as keyboard.

Miguel Zenon – alto saxophone
Guillermo Klein – piano, vocals
Aaron Goldberg – keyboards
Reuben Rogers – bass
Eric Harland – drums

In June 2011, a remarkable recording entitled Bienestan (Sunnyside Records) brought together two gifted pianist/composers, Aaron Goldberg and Guillermo Klein, with the former as featured soloist on songs written and/or arranged by the latter. (The two have been friends for two decades, dating back to their student days in Boston.) On Bienestan, The New York Times’ Nate Chinen heard “saxophonists Miguel Zenón and Chris Cheek exchanging meticulous phrases and vibrant solos” while “the full ensemble, with Matt Penman on bass and Eric Harland on drums, often shifts gears during a song, according to a sleek calculus of rhythmic modulation favored by Mr. Klein…The music is complex but never cold.”

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