★ ★ ★ ★ ★ album review: Pedro Melo Alves’ Omniae Ensemble

Read this ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ review on our release Pedro Melo Alves’ Omniae Ensemble!
Find the full article in Portuguese here or below a translated excerpt (originally published in Ípsilon/ Público by Nuno Catarino).

“(…) The three original compositions present a blend of classical music and improvisation without abandoning the jazz matrix. The tracks are long and reveal a rare complexity, a writing that combines multiple environments within the same track, alternating between very structured and carefully designed collective unisono parts, but also moments open to free improvisation.
The rich sound of the brass section feeds the grandiosity of the compositions’ structure. When it comes to the individual musicians, the electric guitar player Mané Fernandes stands out, exploiting the effects pedals during his solos. In general, the music is characterized by moments of tension, energy and high intensity, between unisonos, crescendos and decrescendos, a kind of a musical “rollercoaster”.
The record contains arrangements of two compositions by Bernardo Sassetti: Reflexos, Movimento Circular (of the record Motion) and Da Noite (of the masterpiece Ascent). The former maintains the original structure, that melodic essence, but adds other colors. Melo Alves is showing good use of the diverse resources that the septet has to offer to turn it into the base of his music. The latter remains as the closing track of the album – a minimal, slow and contemplative version of Da Noite, contrasting the rich (and energetic) harmonics that characterize the overall record. This choice accentuates the elegiac tone of the original composition, leading to a perfect farewell.
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.” – Nuno Catarino

 

2017-12-07T13:03:17+00:00 October 15th, 2017|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

4,5 star review in Downbeat Magazine for João Barradas’ debut album “Directions”!

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)

 

2017-09-28T13:46:24+00:00 September 2nd, 2017|Categories: News|Tags: , , |