Although there’s no official record, El Arte Del Bolero could well be the first album…
Although there’s no official record, El Arte Del Bolero could well be the first album sourced from a live stream during the pandemic. Alto saxophonist Zenón and pianist Perdomo, long-time collaborators, got together for a duo session on September 28 at the Jazz Gallery in New York City. They were so pleased with the results that they decided to release it in digital form only.
It’s good they did. Foremost, this is comforting music in still-troubled times.
The material was culled from songs the two players grew up with — Zenón in Puerto Rico and Perdomo in Venezuela — and are associated with such Latin-music legends as Benny Moré, Ray Barretto, Arsenio Rodriguez and Cheo Feliciano.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSTFoI-hoSw El Arte de Bolero is a nearly all-ballads affair. Of the six pieces, only the closer, “Juguete,” moves with any pace, and with more of a relaxed swing than an Afro-Cuban feel. The partners turn the temperature up when they trade solos near song’s end. The session is rife with gorgeous melodies like “Come Fue,” “La Vida Es Un Sueño” (with shades of “Mona Lisa”) and “Ese Hastio.” The tandem plays with optimum fluidity, deftly passing solos between themselves. Nothing is forced. There’s a relaxed intimacy between the two that easily translates to the listener. Regardless of the circumstances under which it was recorded, El Arte de Bolero is a beguiling set of romantic ballads. Photo by John Rogers