Monday, December 15, 2014

Pedra Contida, Xisto

Pedra Contida (Contained Stone) is a Portuguese quintet assembled especially for a Jazz ao Centro Clube invitation to perform for a week in the village of Cerdeira as part of the Schist Village Network project. Leader-organizer Marcelo dos Reis gives us a full album of the music they performed there in July of 2013.

The music is in three parts--the first four pieces composed by Marcelo, the second a series of solos and duos, and the third a collective improvisation by the whole group. All are part of the disk Xisto (JACC 022). The quintet includes dos Reis on acoustic guitar, voice and singing bowls; Angelica V. Salvi on harp; Nuno Torres on alto sax; Miguel Carvalhais on computer; and Joao Pais Filipe on drums and percussion.

This is a group that draws inspiration from open-form new music more than so-called "free jazz" per se. It is abstract music that relies on sound worlds that are colored by conventional and unconventional ways of playing to realize textures that vary and keep interest level high. Each member of the quintet contributes to the sound in ways that blend and become super-organic, so to say.

There is a dispersal of sound that maximizes space and individual contribution for a result that requires somewhat disciplined listening if one is to reap the benefits of this rarified sound abstraction expression. The results are intriguing and very fascinating if one gives the music the attention it deserves. But you must meet it half-way.


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