News

  1. 2024/01
     

    Uivo Zebra & Horns Sombras (Bocian) 

    Jorge Nuno electric guitar
    Hernâni Faustino  electric bass
    João Sousa drums and percussion
    Luís Vicente trumpet
    José Lencastre alto saxophone
    Paulo Galão tenor saxophone
    Pedro Arelo baritone saxophone

    Recorded (9 December 2018) and Mix by Joaquim Monte at Namouche Studios in Lisbon
    Assisted by Jerome Durand and Bernardo Centeno
    Mastered by Simon Wadsworth
    Artwork by Joanna John
    Band photos by Nuno Martins
    Produced by Jorge Nuno and Hernâni Faustino
    Executive Production by Grzegorz Tyszkiewicz

    Uivo Zebra wants to thank Rui Eduardo Paes, Nuno Martins, Grzegorz Tyszkiewicz and a sincere big thank you to Luís Vicente, José Lencastre, Paulo Galão and Pedro Arelo for playing with us.

    ________________________________
     
     

    Garuda + Rodrigo Pinheiro Tongues of Flames (A New Wave of Jazz

     

    Hugo Costa alto saxophone 

    Hernâni Faustino double bass

    João Valinho drums 

    Rodrigo Pinheiro piano

     

    Recorded at Namouche studios in Lisbon, July , 2022 by Joaquim Monte
    Mixed & Mastered by Daniele Martini

    Sleeve notes : Guy Peters.
    Layout : Rutger Zuydervelt
    Executive label director : Dirk Serries

     

     

    One of the most persistent presumptions about ‘free music’, is that it is supposed to be an attempt at total freedom, with at its very core a form-less mass of sound that remains shapeless, without references and devoid of coherence. Of course, it couldn’t be any further from the truth. Granted, free improvising musicians claim different kinds of freedom – the freedom to disregard some conventions and the freedom to opt for a different course are two key examples -, but the term ‘freedom’ usually gets a productive interpretation. While less bound to rules and limitations, the best free music out there is usually an act of collective construction. Applicable point in case: this second release by the Portuguese Garuda Trio, for which they are accompanied by pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro Rotterdam-based alto saxophonist Hugo Costa previously appeared on this label with Philipp Ernsting, one of his band mates in the pulverizing trio Albatre. Work with this band or his trio with Onno Govaert and Raoul van der Weide shows he’s also a highly personal and nuanced player, equally comfortable in more introspective, totally acoustic surroundings. In bass player Hernâni Faustino and drummer João Valinho, he finds two impressive foils. While Faustino recently impressed with Manifesto, a trio with Susan Alcorn and José Lencastre, he has been a cornerstone of Lisbon’s free music community for years. He’s a modest artist playing with effortless authority. Valinho, on the other hand, made his entrance onto the scene only a few years ago, but is already one of the most adaptive players of the moment. Look no further than the two extremely divergent Clean Feed-releases he appeared on in 2023 (with MOVE & Bruno Parrinha’s Vine Leaf). Extra guest this time around is pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro, another crucial member of Lisbon’s creative music community and, like Faustino, also a RED trio member and founder of the Phonogram Unit-label. Together, these four expertly navigate through divergent waters, from the sparse and introverted to the kinetic, with a keen sense of tension and an eye for detail. Opener “Raw” is an exercise in musical bonding that manages to remain free and unfettered throughout a turbulent course while never losing its tight focus. The shorter “Tongue Of Flames” immediately packs a punch and slowly releases (some of) its tension in the second half, turning it into an alluring mirror image. “If We Dance” perhaps stays closer to the jazz tradition, without losing an unpredictable fickleness. Listen how these four move – perhaps dance is a more appropriate verb, indeed – around each other, and work with volume, density, textures, iridescent atmospheres and a finale in which lava-like energy morphs into something hypnotizing. The quartet somehow merges gravity with playfulness and never settles for conventionality, putting the act of spontaneous creation front and center. That another Portuguese line-up pops up on this label is, admittedly, a cause for personal joy, but it also shows that this international scene is a supportive environment. More than ever before, international collaboration might offer the best way forward. We have all witnessed what artificial borders can lead to. Guy Peters

     
    _______________________________
     
     
     

    Break It Down (Phonogram Unit) 

    Flak analogic drum machine
    Jorge Nuno electric guitar
    José Lencastre tenor saxophone
    Hernâni Faustino  electric bass


    Recorded and mixed  by Flak in December 21st 2022, Alfarim
    Mastered by James Plotkin

    Cover photo and design by Nuno Martins 

     

    Featuring a cast of characters that includes Flak, Hernâni Faustino, José Lencastre and Jorge Nuno, this collaboration between this four musicians is many things. The music found here is all improvised, the majority are characterized by a signature sound fusing bone-rattling rhythms of funk, fusion, groove and dub. Faustino electric bass along with the irresistible drum analogue machine manipulated by Flak with melodic tenor saxophone by Lencastre and the (space) electric guitar of Nuno builds the energy to a fever pitch.

     

    _______________________________
     
     

    Old Mountain Another State of Rhythm (Clean Feed Records

     

    Pedro Branco piano 

    João Sousa drums

    João Hasselberg double bass 

    Hernâni Faustino double bass

    Tony Malaby tenor saxophone 

     

    Abiding friends and serial collaborators Pedro Branco and João Sousa scale an enchanting set of melodic, nostalgia-fuelled summits on Another State of Rhythm, their third long-player issued under the Old Mountain sobriquet. After initially establishing themselves with an exhaustive run of enduring associations on Lisbon’s vibrant jazz scene, Branco and Sousa headed to the Netherlands in 2014 to further pursue their musical studies. It was here they formed Old Mountain, as a test bed for workshopping various modes of venturesome expression and compositional techniques, inviting an ever-alternating cast into their fold, observing practices of continual collaboration as the bountiful catalyst for creativity and invention.
    The inaugural fruits of these alliances arrived in 2020, with Old Mountain dropping a brace of delightful digital-only releases; Parallels, a wistful hook-up with fellow countryman and trumpeter Gonçalo Marques, and the comparatively ardent, sporadically burly, This Is Not Our Music, alongside  Nicolò Ricci, Mauro Cottone and George Dumitriu.
    Old Mountain’s third full-length, Another State of Rhythm, sees Branco and Sousa shuffling the pack and shaking down the stimuli again. Inspired by his ivory-juggling heroes, Misha Mengelberg and Masabumi Kikuchi, Branco forgoes his trusty guitar for piano, abandoning himself entirely to the instinctive and unpredictable, his tumbling frisks enticing bouts of nerve-jangling peril amid the adroit lyricism of his colleagues. Elsewhere, Old Mountain pay homage to another formative influence with their own perennial standard, ‘Ballad For Paul’. This beautifully spare tribute, dedicated to drumming don and composer Paul Motian, encapsulates the ensemble’s melancholic sensibilities, jostling a sublime sedation illumined by moonlight and fraught with otherworldly tension.
    On an audacious re-reading of Lead Belly’s ‘Irene (Goodnight Irene)’, the dual-basses of João Hasselberg and Hernâni Faustino commune and entwine, smouldering beneath Sousa’s magnificently restrained percussion and the smoke-fuelled noir-gasp of Tony Malaby’s tenor sax, conveying a timeless, elegiac beauty, momentarily endangered by the frenetic free-improv enquires of Branco’s keys. The traditional tune is turned inside out, the original melody jettisoned and disassembled before being gradually hauled back for a final hurrah.
    With Another State of Rhythm, Old Mountain successfully navigate the crests and valleys of their idiosyncratic landscape, burnishing some of contemporary jazz’s more aggressive climes, while undaunted in their explorations of its trickier passages. The result is an absorbing collection, coolly scaling alluring heights, captivating senses and stealing hearts with its sensitivity, constituting an apogee of poise and restraint in its graceful, subtle, risk-taking play.

     
    ________________________________
     
     
     

    Susan Alcorn/José Lencastre/Hernâni Faustino Manifesto (Clean Feed Records)

     

    Susan Alcorn pedal steel guitar, lap steel guitar 

    José Lencastre tenor and alto saxophone 

    Hernâni Faustino double bass, electric bass 

     

    Two Portuguese musicians team up with an instrumentalist with a rare path, who continues to expand in her expression that instrument so particular that is the pedal steel guitar.

    Saxophonist José Lencastre and bassist Hernâni Faustino often share the stage and studios with various groups. They soon discovered that they had in common, in addition to their taste for jazz and improvised music, a great admiration for the work of Susan Alcorn. In August 2022, Susan Alcorn played in Lisbon, and José Lencastre invited her to record in a trio with saxophone and double bass. The session took place at the Namouche studios in Lisbon, and the album, “Manifesto” brings music of generous interaction, where melodies intersect with angular and abstract forms, bringing a solid narrative that unites improvisations of the trio.

    Hernâni Faustino, a self-taught musician, was part of several rock bands in the 1980s; in the 90’s, he started to play the double bass and dedicated himself only to improvised music. He was one of the founders, in November 2007, of the RED trio, with pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro and drummer Gabriel Ferrandini. He is currently a member of the Nau Quartet, a formation led by saxophonist José Lencastre, the Refraction Quartet by Rodrigo Amado and the trio Volúpias by Gabriel Ferrandini. In concert, he has played alongside musicians such as Mats Gustafsson, Nate Wooley, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Carlos Zíngaro, Susana Santos Silva, Rob Mazurek, Taylor Ho Bynum, among many others.

    José Lencastre is a saxophonist, improviser and composer from Lisbon. Renowned as a versatile musician, he has practiced various musical genres over the years. He has collaborations on stage or recording with musicians such as Sei Miguel, Gonçalo Almeida, Albert Cirera, Rodrigo Amado, Peter Evans, Ziv Taubenfeld, Vasco Trilla and many others. During the period he lived in Brazil, between 2012 and 2016, he had the opportunity to develop his interest in the vast and rich rhythmic, melodic and harmonic culture of different traditions, such as Choro, Frevo, Ciranda, etc. He formed the Nau Quartet, a group with four albums released to date, all well received by critics, both nationally and internationally. He has had the opportunity to perform live in several countries such as France, Germany, England, Slovenia, Serbia, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Morocco, Italy, Belgium and Spain. In 2022, his quintet Common Ground debuted on record, with the participation of Carlos Zingaro, Clara Lai, Gonçalo Almeida and João Sousa.

    “Susan Alcorn is one of the greatest exponents of her instrument in the world, taking the pedal steel guitar to worlds that are light years away from its traditional limited role in country and western (where she’s coming from). Starting in Texas, Alcorn expanded the instrument’s vocabulary, studying classical music from the 20th century, avant-garde jazz and music from around the world. “I understand the instrument I play not as an object to be dominated, but as a partner with whom I share with the listener a meaning and, I hope, a deep awareness of each fragile moment we are together. It is this dynamic that I try to be aware of both in my writing and in my performances’, explains herself.” Antonio Branco, Jazz.pt