1. 2019/02

    José Lencastre Nau Quartet Live in Moscow (Clean Feed Records)

    José Lencastre alto saxophone

    Rodrigo Pinheiro piano

    Hernâni Faustino double bass

    João Lencastre drums

    Everything in a Nau Quartet (the brothers José and João Lencastre plus 2/3 of RED trio – Rodrigo Pinheiro and Hernâni Faustino) concert is improvised, benefiting from a stage situation. Here we find the Portuguese musicians when they played live in Russia one year ago, precisely the situation they fulfill best. In such a manner that each track is a statement in itself, very affirmative and with an astonishing drive and commitment – the same of the founders of both free jazz and free music, the two traditions these four dedicate themselves to converge and cross-polinate. Their concept is their praxis, and it’s simple to enunciate: always to use open and spontaneous structures, developing the emerging ideas collectively and in an organic, fluid, way. In the gathered improvisations you can recognize much more than the reconciled jazz and free improv lineages. For instance, José Lencastre’s alto sax is rooted in the cool tendency, sometimes reminding us of Lee Konitz and Paul Desmond, while Pinheiro’s piano DNA has references in Thelonious Monk, Lennie Tristano, Cecil Taylor and Paul Bley, with something of Messiaen and Ligeti in the mix. Things can be quite intense, but the music never turns aggressive, just because there’s other ways to get to the point without shouting.


    Octopus Mimus (Creative Sources Recordings)

    Ernesto Rodrigues viola
    Anna Piosik trumpet
    André Holzer resonator guitar
    Bruno Parrinha clarinets
    Paulo Galão tenor saxophone
    Hernâni Faustino double bass
    Carlos Santos electronics
    João Valinho snare drum


    Gabriel Ferrandini Volúpias (Clean Feed Records)

    Pedro Sousa tenor saxophone

    Hernâni Faustino doublebass

    Gabriel Ferrandini drums and percussion

    The Portuguese (but born in California 1986, from a Mozambican natural and a Brazilian of Italian heritage) drummer Gabriel Ferrandini is usually found in freely improvised music contexts (those, for instance, of Red Trio and Rodrigo Amado Motion Trio in the celebrated Lisbon scene and with an impressive international collaboration history: Alexander Von Schlippenbach, Axel Dörner, Evan Parker, John Butcher, Nate Wooley, Peter Evans, Sten Sandell or Thurston Moore, among many others) but three years ago he decided to turn himself to composition and started the new approach with an artistic residency in one of the most prestigious Portuguese venues for music, ZDB. To turn ideas and notations to sound he invited two of his most near companions, tenor saxophonist Pedro Sousa (his partner in the PeterGabriel duo) and double bassist Hernâni Faustino for that task, the same playing in “Volúpias”. The record you have here is result of one year residency at ZDB. Maybe because of that, the titles of the pieces are the names of Lisbon streets, the ones that lead from Ferrandini’s house to his studio and then to ZDB. Curiously enough, if Ferrandini sounds here more jazz-oriented than ever (this process went through the creation of an extended version of “Love Song”, by Tony Williams), two of the tracks are arrangements of compositions by an electronic musician, also Portuguese (Ondness), who combines dance beats with exotic soundscapes, very far from what we call jazz. The message underneath is a delight, warning us that this commitment to the jazz format isn’t necessarily “conventional”. Nothing done by Gabriel Ferrandini is, thank the gods…