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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America


By Robert Kaye
Published June 22, 2006

From Enchantment and Full Force Jazz
Pimienta Records

Not to be confused with the Hall of Fame slugger, this Cuban-born musician has been described as "the man with 100 magical fingers.” Undeniably, Perez is a pianist of astonishing talent. That reliance on journalistic hyperbole and PR copy is more than justified: consider the 28-year old Perez was hand-picked by none other than Chucho Valdes to lead Cuba’s legendary Irakere band during its recent European and American tours. With his debut solo album, Perez is destined to one day join the well-deserved stature of such AfroCubano Jazz pianists as Michel Camilo, Eddie Palmieri, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Valdes and others. In short, the cat’s a muchacho monster. Recorded at Mexico’s legendary K’ah Nah studios, this album is a festive fright. As a composer, arranger and instrumentalist and showman, Perez is a force to be reckoned with. Joined by nine talented musicians, Perez’s album is indicative of the power, sensuality and virtuosity that is contemporary AfroCubano Jazz. At its finest. If tumbaos and montunos make you wiggle with glee, this album is steaming hot Jell-O.