The Lisbon Improvisation Players call themselves an open formation project. There are two words of import here: open and formation. Form is an integral part of their quest, yet it is the factor that makes them go out and seek paths that free them of constraints. Within the body is a soaring spirit that explores, stirs and energizes the art of improvisation.
The opening track is unselfconsciously laudatory as they present their case convincingly and not without a sense of fun. The sax raises its voice in clarion call and they are off. Squiggle, draw a line. Meander, set it straight. Engage in soft conversation, let the proceedings heat up. And then give vent to a free-for-all manifest. Enough said? No! At the end they profile “This Is Our Music”, which succinctly captures the essence of their spontaneous inventions. They have it all; charging rhythms, ensemble improvisations, melodic niceties, point and counterpoint.
When Amado sings a “Song For Bluiett” on the baritone, melody makes a strong opening statement. Salero underlines the subtleties with brushes with Gonçalves keeping the pulse ticking in gentle modulation. The pace is more sedate here as Amado opens up the terrain in creating ideas that delve into manifold harmonic interpretations. They are back on an ebullient playing field for a “Conversation Piece” that is as fine as any. A chorus of saxophones, the move into individual territory, lines that bounce off each other and, for the climax, a pastoral sway that eases the tension and adds a neat adjunct to their vision. Hey, listen in!