Jazz in the 21st Century is in an interesting time, not necessarily stuck in a rut, but no one really knows what exactly is the next big step is for jazz, or where it should be going.
But what is apparent, is that jazz musicians understand the needs for the music to progress and move forward in order for jazz to continue being at the forefront of musical exploration and expression, and not be left behind and become recognized as the music of the past. And because there really isn’t a set direction for the music, this is exciting times for jazz listeners and composers. Jazz in the 21st century is essentially a blank canvas for composers to do anything what they want. They have the ability to experiment, and explore new identities for themselves as jazz composers and musicians, and to explore a new identities for jazz as a whole.
One of those composers/musicians who are doing exactly that is a man by the name of Danilo Perez. He is helping push jazz into new direction, putting his own mark on jazz, and showing the world what can be done with jazz.
Residing in Boston, but forever dedicated to his home country of Panama. Danilo perez has created an album that celebrates Panama and it’s diverse culture, by exploring the many musical transplants that have come through and stayed in panama over the 500 years that Panama has been around.
Perez combines Panamanian, Latin-Hispanic, European and Jazz in an effortless style that is easily digestible and focused without feeling bloated. Its one the very rare occasions in music where more is is better than less. With the help of two sets of musicians. One being his own trio trio featuring bassist Ben Street and drummer Adam Cruz. And the other featuring his fellow band mates from the world famous Wayne Shorter quartet, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade. Together they help Danilo Perez bring life to the rhythms and melodies that Perez grew up with, alongside the expansive harmonies of contemporary jazz and help piece together the musical puzzle that Danilo Perez has created. Ultimately, the goals for this album were bold and it payed off. Showcasing him as an improviser, composer, and probably most importantly, showing his love for his Latin American roots.