Thank you Downbeat Magazine for the amazing review!
4,5 out of 5 stars for João Barradas “Directions” – Released by Nischo Records/ Inner Circle Music
Review by Josef Woodard/ DownBeat Magazine:
“One of the reasons João Barradas stands apart from the fairly slender ranks of virtuoso jazz accordionists is his taste for adventure, in a field not necessarily given to same. Concurrently, his roots are intact and entrenched in jazz and classical traditions, as well as other niches in the musical musical world where accordion is known to travel. We get a winning introduction to the young Portuguese dynamo on his aptly named debut album, Directions, a sensitive, open-minded, multi-directional and undeniably chops-endowed set of music.
Our first indication of venturesome thinking arrives at the outset, as Barradas spins off a philosophical essay on the fly. Alto saxophonist Greg Osby, also the album´s producer, lends his gymnastic, spidery instrumental voice to the mix on this track, titled “Expressive Idea”, and later cameos on “Unknown Identity” and the album´s finale, “Ignorance” – all tracks that lean into a more angular, harmonically exploratory zone. Poised balladic beauty is at hand on “Varazdin´s Landscape”, and elsewhere on the album, he latches on to an odd-metered Slavic folkloric groove on “Amalgamat”, and nods to the Piazzola-ish realm of nuevo tango on “The Red Badge of Courage”.
Among Barradas’ many champions is Gil Goldstein, who embarks on a thrilling accordion duet with the younger player to the tune of Goldstein´s “Tiling the Plane”, loosely built off the changes of “Giant Steps”. Here, as throughout Directions, the nimble young accordionist acquits himself like the new, true musical sensation his nascent reputation promises him to be.”
– Josef Woodard/ Downbeat Magazine (4,5 stars/ 5)