Pedro Melo Alves’ Omniae Ensemble
The winner of the 2nd edition of the Composition Award Bernardo Sassetti is Pedro Melo Alves, born 1991. The Porto-based musician submitted 3 original compositions that deeply impressed the jury with their unique rhythmical patterns and sound textures.
In 2017 he recorded his first album as composer and band leader with the newly founded Omnae Ensemble (Ensemble Portugal em Jazz 2016) featuring his original compositions as well as arrangements of compositions by Bernardo Sassetti.
Pedro Melo Alves – Drums, Composition, Arrangements
José Soares – Saxophone
Gileno Santana – Trumpet
Xavi Sousa – Trombone
José Diogo Martins – Piano
Mané Fernandes – Guitar
Filipe Louro – Double Bass
BUY ALBUM HERE: www.fnac.pt/Pedro-Melo-Alves-Omniae-Ensemble-CD-Album/a1041114#
“Omniae Ensemble, composed of invigorating practitioners of new music, sounds like a modern symphonic work imbued with overwhelming emotion and deep resonance. The Portuguese jazz is well represented here.”
– JazzTrail (Grade A-)
“The originality and excellence of Pedro Melo Alves’ compositions along with the band’s interpretative quality turn this record into a remarkable milestone for Portuguese jazz, a reference for contemporary music with broad horizons, bold music, open-minded and adventurous.””
– ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ by Nuno Catarino (Público/ Ípsilon)
“This is thoughful jazz, intellectual, open towards contributions from contemporary classical music. This is a kind of jazz that is questioning, inquiring, that refuses to be normative, that explores. And, above all, jazz that shows delightful links to the composition masterpiece “Unreal: Sidewalk Cartoon” by Bernardo Sassetti.“
– ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ by Rui Eduardo Paes (Jazz.pt)
Between the cosmic dust and the expanding universe in someone’s eyes what’s the meaning of sitting in a silent room to create notes, colors, senses? For a moment, the illusion of a free, collective consciousness, bonded by the sound beyond sound… but then, only silence. Always silence.
So, what remains?
Maybe nothing. And still, maybe inventing is the only answer to this gastric thing that boils in all of us – a way of confronting and reinventing those big questions that will never be answered.
And, maybe, in that borderless creation there’s this thread connecting us all, you, me and Bernardo – a thread where dreams touch each other and we all learn, because nobody knows better. Some, even if not knowing better, know how to sing these questions with an essence of Beauty. They know how to establish time in a time that’s not ours, hear silence and lend it to you, so that you may hear it with them. Bernardo Sassetti is one of those few.
And it’s here, listening to his silence, that I find myself not having a life full enough of silence, time or space to pay him proper homage, or to deserve an award inspired in his world. I know how, if meaning anything, this award means only this open book, full of nameless colors, in front of me – all yet to be written, to be understood, to make me grow, alongside the special people which remind me every day of the scent of Life. Of silence. To silence.
In its second year the Composition Award Bernardo Sassetti goes to Pedro Melo Alves and it is fair to say that in its short history the award already gained an unquestionable quality. Pedro Melo Alves’ writing is bold, it surprises and often challenges us. As a composer he is not making our lives any easier. With an average length of 15 minutes (one time even more than 22) he demonstrates a certain kind of courage that causes me great admiration. We live in times of normalization of taste and, also because of that, every cry of something different causes my respect. Then, if that something different proves to be musically solid – and that is the case here – it causes our joy, my joy.
I also want to say a few words about the interpreting musicians that are, without exception, of extraordinary quality. The creativity and the imagination, the freedom and maturity (using freedom well is often a sign of maturity) are surprising. I would even say that they belong to a steadily growing group of musicians that lead to the fact that is no longer makes sense to distinguish between Portuguese musicians and musicians from abroad. This present work is one more step towards the deconstruction of that complex that is still affecting us, even though it is diminishing. I even feel like making an appeal to programmers and festival promoters. Include Portuguese musicians in your programming, they are getting more and better and yet, they are still very rarely invited to participate.
Listen to this record. It will help.