Sunday, November 13, 2016

Fail Better! - OWT (NoBusiness Records, 2016)

This is a very interesting group from the Portuguese jazz consisting of Marcelo dos Reis on electric guitar, Luís Vicente on trumpet, João Guimarães on alto saxophone, José Miguel Pereira on bass and João Pais Filipe on drums. The music was recorded live in April of 2014 at Salão Brazil in Coimbra. The music has a sweeping cinematic sound to it, underpinned by extensive bowed bass and low ominous percussion, which add an increased heartbeat of fear and anxiety to the proceedings. Trumpet is folded in slowly, developing a quiet and moody cadence, offset by the entrance of lighter toned saxophone. Guitar frames the intertwined horns making for a beguiling sound that is quiet but emotionally resonant. “Circular Measure” is one of the highlights of the album, with a massive amount of intensity building through raw trumpet and tribal sounding percussion, which sound brooding and portentous. Filipe’s percussion is the key here, developing a number of unique sounding rhythmic patterns that work well with the band and the framing action of the guitar. The music builds faster and takes on a hypnotic edge with open drums, intertwined horns which make for an excellently paced improvisation. The concluding track “Stellar” moves the band back into quieter territory, and they are capable of making a fine improvised statement even at a lower tempo. This album worked quite well, the band was well integrated, resourceful and respectful of one another and they used tact and logic in building their performances to a high level. This is a limited edition project of 300 records, so if it sounds good to you, don’t wait! OWT - NoBusiness Records

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