Rayuela (with Miguel Zenón)

The music on this recording was inspired by the book Rayuela, (Hopscotch in English) by the Argentine writer Julio Cortázar. This masterpiece has long provided me with an immense amount of inspiration and ideas, forging a possibility for what art could be: a medium of boundless freedom, both for the creator and for the audience.

The narrative in Rayuela takes place both in Paris and Buenos Aires, and it was indeed this “French-Latin American” connection that ignited the idea for a collaboration between Laurent and myself. We have become close friends through the years but had never had the chance to collaborate on a musical project before (aside from the casual performance here and there). Working on Rayuela seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Each composition is meant to represent a character or episode from the book, and our approaches varied greatly: from direct translations of words (or in some cases letters) into musical terms; to impressions on the feelings inspired by a specic literary passage.

What is meant to be consistent throughout the music is our love and admiration for every page of this very unique piece of literature and our desire for this music to transmit these feelings in an honest way. Here’s to hoping you’ll enjoy the music as much as we enjoyed making it…FOR YOU.

Miguel Zenón

Compositions #1-3-4-6-8 by Laurent Coq (Sacem), and #2-5-7-9-10 by Miguel Zenón (Mazenonmusic/BMI).
Recorded September 7 & 8, 2011 at Systems Two, Brooklyn, NY. Engineered by Joe Marciano, assistant engineering by Max Ross. Mixing and Mastering by Katsuhiko Naito at Avatar Studios, New York, NY.
Executive producer François Zalacain.
Produced by Miguel Zenón & Laurent Coq.

  • Miguel Zenón alto saxophone
  • Laurent Coq piano
  • Dana Leong trombone and cello
  • Dan Weiss drums and tablas


The book is expansive, smart, breezy, romantic and sometimes like a disturbing dream, and the music lands on all those squares.
Kevin Withehead NPR Music August 2012

Zenón and Coq have said that they were attracted to the book largely for the way it questions and cuts open form, by encouraging readers to rearrange the order in which they read its pages. But form isn’t just about arc: It’s threedimensional, and the dynamic of this album’s unlikely quartet gives it a special thickness.
Giovanni Russonello JazzTimes September 2012

Multilayered, profound and cerebral, Rayuela is an outstanding work. It is also evidence of what can happen when masterful artists think outside of the box and even outside of a literary masterpiece.
Mark F. Turner. All About Jazz (best albums of 2012)

Puerto Rican saxophonist Zenon and French pianist Coq drew inspiration for “Rayuela” from Argentine writer Julio Cortazar’s book of the same name, but this sublimely expressive recording achieves a poetry of its own (…) A profound recording.
Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune (best albums of 2012)

Smart, inventive and heartfelt music.
Kevin Whitehead, Emusic

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