“Before the Silence”
Albert Cirera/Hernani Faustino/Gabriel Ferrandini/Agustí Fernandez
soon available on NoBusiness Records
RED trio + John Butcher Summer Skyshift (Clean Feed Records)
Known for the way they manage the energy factor, going from extreme subtlety, almost near-silence, to aggressive noise making, Rodrigo Pinheiro, Hernâni Faustino and Gabriel Ferrandini, the members of RED Trio, brought sharp ears to their presentation with John Butcher as guest during last year’s Jazz em Agosto festival. “Summer Skyshift” is the recording of that concert in Lisbon. The music is very different from that on their studio LP together, “Empire”, enabling us to discover new aspects of this project. If not serene, considering the permanent unrest of these musicians, their state of mind opened the music to an astonishing lyricism. Free and abstract as ever, but with an unusual poetic dimension. This frame was profited by Butcher in the best way, as you can testify here. The British saxophonist is a master of meditative playing, and many of his best performances have that kind of focus. During the “Empire” tours, the same John Butcher used to take his Portuguese companions out from any jazz comfort zones, but this time he accepted to be pushed in. At the end of the album, he seems in love with the phrasing and the sound of John Coltrane. When he makes the soprano saxophone sound like a flute, with Pinheiro behind him weaving a spider net with the highest notes of the piano, the only thing you can say is «Wow!». Prepare yourself for that…
I’m playing my precision bass on 3 tracks of the new record of trumpet player and composer Sei Miguel.
A new record by the «best kept secret of Portuguese creative music», as one British critic once wrote about trumpeter extraordinaire Sei Miguel. Specifically, a collection of “stories untold” with different line-ups, from a duo with Fala Mariam to a octet with Mariam, Nuno Torres, Rodrigo Amado, José Bruno Parrinha and Paulo Curado, including the participation of other musicians like Carlos Santos, Hernâni Faustino, Luís Desirat and Moz Carrapa. Each piece creating its own world, either reminiscent of Greek and Balkan chants, based on a Raksin-Mercer song, “Laura”, dedicated to the guitarist of the free rock band Caveira or having the same notion of space Miguel finds in both Gil Evans and Keith Rowe. A veteran of the Portuguese scene, active since the Eighties, revered by some and misunderstood by others, Sei Miguel refuses to be considered an “institution” by always renewing his concepts and his playing, facing each project simultaneously as the first and the last one, letting himself to be surprised and at the same time dealing with it as a definitive statement. The consequence: a shining diamond, for you to take and cherish…