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ALBUM REVIEW: "Montage" 

Luis Perdomo


Hot Tone Music

Whenever I've listened to an album with Luis Perdomo at the piano, it doesn't matter if it's a Ravi Coltrane album, a Miguel Zenón album, or an E.J. Strickland album, it's also a Luis Perdomo album. He's that striking a musical presence. Over the last dozen years, Perdomo has released seven records as a leader, but "Montage" is his first solo piano album. It was worth waiting for. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Perdomo brings a wonderful cross-cultural flair to his playing and his repertoire.

His three original tunes show off his dexterity and his melodic gift. Two of them grew out of improvisational excises. As for his covers, some are fresh takes on classic tunes ("Monk's Dream," "Body and Soul") while others offer a fascinating glimpse into the music he heard growing up ("Mambo Mongo," and the bolero, "Si Te Contara"). There are also some obscure gems. The most fascinating is "Cal Massey," a Stanley Cowell tune in which the left hand is a mirror image of the right hand while playing. Perdomo makes this analytical musical experiment downright lyrical. — BY RON NETSKY

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