Thursday, August 27, 2015

Clocks and Clouds, Luis Vicente, Rodrigo Pinheiro, Hernani Faustino, Marco Franco

Those of you who follow these musical blogs regularly will get a good exposure to the Portuguese avant jazz-free-new music scene, which is substantial. The post up for today continues that coverage with the album Clocks and Clouds (FMR CD371-0214), a vibrant seven-part journey to free realms with a quartet of very capable players. You might even say that this quartet in Portuguese terms is a sort of all-star lineup. These are names you may recognize, in other words. Luis Vicente is on trumpet, Rodrigo Pinheiro plays piano, Hernani Faustino is on contrabass and Marco Franco plays the drums.

The quartet has excellent chemistry throughout. Each plays a coherent and creative role realizing the spontaneous collective improvisations that make up the program. As in the best of these sorts of outings all four are very aware of what the others are doing at any moment and they respond, not necessarily in kind, but with contrasting complemental phrases.

All four are fully developed musical personalities. Luis wide-ranging and maybe puckish, Rodrigo fully pianistic and filled with multi-noted ideas, Hernani making full use of the huge range of timbres and attacks to give his bass both textural and pitch-specific insights into the mix, Marco making of his drum kit a multi-voiced symphony of free percussives.

Clocks and Clouds follows the wind with the best kind of creative immediacy. The quartet can and does go to many realms of sound possibilities, alternatingly noteful or sparse, mysterious or matter-of-fact, energy-soulful or other-worldly.

In short this is a very successful free outing from four masters of the art. Words can take you to the starting track, but then the music speaks for itself, eloquently and artfully.

Grab this one and get a good earful. It's an excellent example of Portuguese avant today.

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