Reviews | RED trio

From Clean Feed, the Lisbon-based label with a stable of Portuguese (and other) creative musicians, comes RED trio, with Rodrigo Pinheiro (piano), Hernani Faustino (bass) and Gabriel Ferrandini (drums/percussion), a non-hierarchical, piano-’led’ trio that, like the combos of Bill Evans or Paul Bley, grants equal airtime to each participant. One of the factors contributing to this effect is the closely matching tones and timbres of each instrument: Pinheiro’s prepared piano—emitting hammered, muted, scraped and bowed notes—is sometimes difficult to distinguish from Faustino’s high-pitched harmonics or Ferrandini’s scratchy cymbals and buzzing gongs. When all three take out their bows, as during the middle section of “Quick Sand,” the album’s epic centerpiece, the damped, metallic tones blend together seamlessly, like a factory full of flywheels, dynamos and random generators, each rotating at its own speed. In contrast, “Burning Light” comes on like a blast of cold thin air rushing into a rapidly depressurizing airplane cabin for 62 seconds of insanity. By Tom Greenland 

All About Jazz 

RED trio Regenerates the Piano Trio in A New Offering

To be an improvisational piano trio and NOT sound like a Cecil Taylor Unit is a feat in itself. The RED trio (Clean Feed) (Rodrigo Pinheiro, piano, Hernani Faustino, bass, Gabriel Ferrandini, drums) accomplish that feat. Yet in their own way they are playing an equally uncompromising free improvisational music that offers plenty of attractions and musical signpost to guide the listener on his or her way through the set.

The trio basically either plays with a full-out, tutti sort of free attack, or scatters the sound in more meditative meanderings. Pinheiro gets inside the piano to mute the natural sustains, plays in the extreme upper and lower register, bows piano strings and thunders away with gargantuan clusters of sound. The rhythm section keeps pace with well executed, out-of-time cascades and a solo bass moment of note. There are passages of intense quiet and intense loudness. Nothing sounds tentative. Nothing sounds pretentious. Everything sounds. RED trio rings out pure and true.

Gapplegate Music review by Grego Edwards

The Portuguese RED trio is Rodrigo Pinheiro on piano, Hernani Faustino on bass, and Gabriel Ferrandini on drums.The intensity is comparable to the previous album, the music not entirely: it is more avant-jazz, darker, much darker.

The album starts with nervous half-muted piano playing, agitated bass and drums, full of tension till the very end. The scene for the second piece, “Flat”, is set by the heavy plucking on the bass, in the style of Paul Rogers, full of emotional power, with great attention the sound, less to the rhythm or melody, a scene which is dark and foreboding, accentuated by light percussive elements, and minimal piano touches. “Coda, Static”, is light, open and again quite intense in its slow building around silence, using sparse notes and brush-strokes to create a whole world.

“Quick Sand” is an absolute horror of a piece, a sonic nightmare, but then one that is of such a high musical level, that it really makes you shiver: piano, bass and drums create a wall of unnatural sounds, now high volume and monstrous, then low volume and eery. “Timewise” is more uptempo, almost upbeat, but again with a sense of urgency and immediacy that is out of the common: they play as if every note, every single sound counts, and then with high relevance: they are heavily accentuated, placed with precision in the evolving soundscape. It is incredible what kind of emotional depth and sonic visions this trio creates, out of nowhere, out of nothing.

Free Jazz review by Stef

Za sve one koji vole muziku pijanističkih džez trija, ali žele da čuju nešto novo i drugačije

Klavir/kontrabas/bubanj je jedna od klasičnijih postavki u džezu. Mnogi su pokušavali, sa većim ili manjim uspehom, da redefinišu čitav koncept i unesu određenu dozu inovativnosti. Mora se priznati da je to, posebno danas, veoma težak zadatak, koji otežava uobičajeno stanovište da je na tom polju već sve rečeno.

Lisabonski džez eksperimentatori RED Trio su tu da pokušaju da razbiju predrasude i demantuju sve koji zastupaju gorepomenuto mišljenje. Pijanista Rodrigo Pinheiro, kontrabasista Hernâni Faustino, i bubnjar i perkusionista Gabriel Ferrandini, izdali su album prvenac za renomiranu portugalsku izdavačku kuću Clean Feed, obogativši joj katalog za još jedan vrlo uzbudljiv naslov.

Prvo što se da primetiti na albumu je odsustvo liderske pozicije pijaniste. Ovo je trio kod koga je ravnopravnost članova glavno obeležje i gde reč “kolektiv” ima svoj pravi smisao. Takođe, u pojedinim trenucima se nameće pitanje da li se na albumu čuju samo zvuci klavira, basa i bubnja. Imajući u vidu često jak intenzitet i punoću zvuka, stvara se osećaj prisustva još nekog “skrivenog” člana. Tretiranje instrumenata na netipičan način, korišćenje efekata, i odlična međusobna interakcija muzičara do potpune integracije u “jedan organizam”, doprinose takvim utiscima.

Melodija gotovo da ne postoji. Većinu albuma čine pulsirajuće sekvence, snažni ritmički udari i odsečni zvuci, čija ukupna suma stvara apstraktan muzički komad neobičnog sadržaja i lepote. Sve je izvrnuto naglavačke, “pomereno” i potpuno nekonvencionalno postavljeno. Deformacija, rekonstrukcija i apstrakcija su pojmovi kojima se može odrediti muzika na ovom albumu.

Sam početak je veoma nervozan, idejno najviše asocirajući na Squarepushera u njegovoj najlucidnijoj fazi karijere. Kako album odmiče, daju se razaznati atmosferični delovi, ali se brzo gube pred naletom šizofrene svirke čemu dosta doprinosi pijanista, neretko tretirajući svoj preparirani klavir kao udarački ili žičani instrument. Teme su mahom veoma duge, sa čudnim, izobličenim i povremeno tamnim zvučnim teksturama, često u kontrastima jedva primetne čujnosti i buke. Vremenom se dolazi do faze kada ovakav koncept postaje krajnje normalan – treba samo prihvatiti izvrnutu logiku muzičara i pratiti njihov put.

Smenjivanje frenetičnih, povremeno veoma agresivnih zvučnih udara, i u malo manjoj meri statičnih deonica, čekaju svakoga ko se upusti u preslušavanje ovog nekonvencionalnog, ali vrlo izazovnog albuma. Za sve one koji vole muziku pijanističkih džez trija, ali žele da čuju nešto novo i drugačije, ovaj album može biti pun pogodak. review by Predrag Vlahovic

An exact corollary between the RED trio and the color crimson remains unclear. One possible connection is the manner in which this Portuguese threesome pushes the limits of their instruments as sound generators. The figurative effect is akin to a needle gauge tipping over thrillingly into the red, though that imagery is not to suggest that they’re obsessed with bombast, speed and bluster. The dynamic range mapped on the disc’s six pieces is cavernously deep and wide. Pianist Pandelis Karayorgis, who pens the brief liner essay, likens them to the post-Bill Evans/Paul Bley tradition on the basis of equanimity between each player’s input. They’re also partial to the long haul but adept at retaining the energy and economy of a short jaunt. Melody is an afterthought to much of the trio’s conversation. Snatches appear intermittently, mainly through pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro’s pitch-precise plinks and plonks, but far more often its grain and weave that serve as topical compass points. Overdubbing sounds in play on the opening “Core” as Pinheiro builds cross-hatching lines from prepared and pristine portions of his piano strings. Karayorgis’ notes argue otherwise and the density of the converging sound sources is all the more remarkable for it. Bassist Hernani Faustino and percussionist Gabriel Ferrandini take a comparative backseat, but are hardly idle in stoking the forward momentum of the piece. For “Flat” its Faustino’s turn under the figurative klieg light in a solo that contains a welcome surplus of thrum and thwack. “Coda, Static” skates by quick, but the aptly-titled “Quick Sand” is all about a gradually tugging textural build. All three players resort to rubbing and scraping at their instruments, at first just at the edges of audibility but eventually reaching an encompassing volume. Sections of the resulting bricolage sound like ambient captures from an underground metalwork factory. “Timewise” travels a similar trajectory narrowing focus to Ferrandini’s kit in its second half in a minimalist exploration of percussive patter. A barely more than a minute, “Burning Light” acts like a concentrated stentorian analogue of the earlier “Quicksand” as the three instruments blur in a coarse cavalcade of textured sound. Red traditionally means stop. In the case of this creative trio it unequivocally connotes go.

Master of a Small House review by Derek Taylor

O que leva um gajo a comprar CD’s nos dias de hoje? Não sei se consiga enumerar todas as razões (que não são muitas, diga-se) mas há uma que convence, que é após um bom espetáculo ao vivo podemos querer “levar” um bocado dele para casa… E foi o que aconteceu comigo com os RED trio embora entre o concerto e o CD passaram-se uns dois anos, porque só agora houve uma estreia fonográfico para este projecto de Jazz.

Jazz? Acho que não é… Nada percebo de Jazz e tenho raiva a quem saiba, só sei que é um género que é uma bela seca tirando uma coisa ou outra, como os alguns dos velhotes que tem piada, e mesmo esses… Dos novos nem sei como há paciência para eles… Os Red Trio São dos “novos” e partem da muita clássica formação bateria / contrabaixo / piano mas invés de “swingarem” algo de convencional – ou fingirem algo de não-convencional como acredito que aconteça por aí – fogem para campos do Improv e Experimental que os metem num plano “Alien”. Há uma raiz e rasgos do Jazz mas os instrumentos vão se “concretizando” de forma que a dada altura parecem estarem a serem “expostos” invés de serem “tocados”. E se julgam que estamos na calmaria típica à portuguesa – porque não há movimento na animação portuguesa? e na dança? e no teatro? «Portugal paradinho é um miminho!» poderia ser o slogan das Artes dos criadores nacionais, não? – enganam-se muito com os RED trio, a sua música é física e chega a ter rasgos de violência que lembra ruídos industriais antigos de SPK ou algo assim.

Bizarro q.b., esta é uma das grandes surpresas do ano!

Marcos Farrajota 


Voici le RED trio.

Leur terrain de jeu est celui du ricochet, du fourmillant. Grappes de sons et de notes cherchant sortie et ne l’obtenant qu’après avoir longuement fouillé dans la vase sonique pourraient conclure certains esprits faciles. On se gardera de toute facilité ici et on plongera à bras le corps dans les dix-sept minutes de Quick Sand. Dix-sept minutes qui disent tout de cet éclairage du souterrain recherché par le trio. Ici, le flou n’est qu’illusion et les lamelles qu’ils effilochent font de la périphérie un centre grouillant, craquelé en permanence et argumentant la résonnance d’un crescendo à tiroirs.

Ainsi, l’impression d’étouffement qui semble parfois se dégager de cette musique est assez fausse pour peu que l’on fasse le choix de plusieurs écoutes. Car oui, la musique du RED trio bouge et étend son chant sur plusieurs niveaux. Elle ruisselle, attend, contemple et amplifie un territoire sonique, qui, si déjà exploré par nombre d’improvisateur(rice)s, n’en délivre pas moins, ici, quelques essentiels émois.

Le Son du Grisil by Luc Bouquet 

“…RED trio se estrena discográficamente con el CD homónimo. En la tradición post-evansiana de los tríos de piano en los que lostres instrumentistas están al mismo nivel, la música se trabaja y desarrolla a nivel colectivo. El batería Gabriel Ferrandini y el contrabajista Hernani Faustino ya dejaron haceunos meses una magnífica muestra de su capacidad para improvisar en grupo en el Nobuyasu Furuya Trio (Bendowa,Clean Feed. CF159CD). Rodrigo Pinheiro se destapa como un magnífico pianista, aunque en este caso el potencial del trío es superior a la suma de sus partes…”

Jazz Magazine by Pachi Tapiz

RED trio is neither (as far as I can tell) a group of doctrinaire Communists or a King Crimson tribute band. Rather, it’s a collaboration between three adventurous improvisers — pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro, bassist Hernani Faustino, and drummer Gabriel Ferrandini — all of whom have worked with saxophonist Nobuyasu Furuya; the bassist and drummer appeared on Furuya’s Bendowa album for Clean Feed last year. They claim the heritage of the Bill Evans-Paul Bley trio, not so much for the sounds and moods they create as for their instruments’ roles as equals rather than foreground-and-background. This is daring, edge-of-seat stuff.

Stash Dauber


Finally, I managed to get some of the debut and not only debut recording pf the RED trio. Still, i am missing very important albums with John Butcher (two albums) and Nate Wooley. RED trio {au naturel} is a free jazz/free improvisation piano trio {\it per se}. With what one cae can compare it? The most “avangardist” trios of the ECM planet, like the Bobo Stenson Trio? Evidently not. RED trio is much more exploratory and complex. With Agustí Fernández’s Aurora Trio or Barry Guy’s Ithaka trio? Clearly not, I would say. Both Aurora and Ithaca Trios interpolate between “traditional” tracks and extremely abstract. Here, we stay at a fixed, but very high level of abstraction form the beginning to the end. For me the best of the triple, is the debut “RED trio”, for the freshness and the spark of genius. The best for me as always are the longest tracks: 14 minutes long “Flat”, or 17 minutes long, extremely abstract, but very lyrical “Quick Sand”. Maciej Lewenstein