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Live Reviews

Free Jazz Festival - Brazil

By Published: March 12, 2004
In the Saturday, the night was opened by the Brazilian trio Curupira (André Marques, p; Ricardo Zohyio, b; Cleber Almeida, d). In spite of their use of jazz as an element of their musical palette, the Curupira is not a jazz trio. They are three young musicians of considerable musical capacity and preparation, but they privilege research on Brazilian music and folklore --- notwithstanding, they propose a post-modern approach regarding the use of devices of contemporary concert music in the advanced harmonies, and even of free jazz in some moments. The group doesn't do of improvisation the main axis of its performance, preferring to rest on fairly rich arrangements and strongly rhythmic passages. The few improvisations, deprived of a higher inventiveness, demand bigger attention by the band's members. The scenical setting devised by the trio captivated the audience presenting impersonations of caipiras paulistas e mineiros (São Paulo's and Minas Gerais's hillbillies) and sertanejos nordestinos (people form the Northeastern hinterlands) upon their presentation of a landscape of rhythms of those regions.

Substituting the Art Van Damme Quintet, which couldn't attend, Pat Martino (g) and John Ridl (p) evidenced a big power of communication and interplay in a highly subtle performance. Martino provoked pronounced tension as he played with rhythm, avoiding reiteratedly the obvious resolutions, while ideas flowed seamlessly in phrases in which chromaticism abounded. Ridl participated in the dialogue with great precision, complementing Martino's statements in a quasi-telepathic manner. The duo offered remarkable harmonic sophistication and melodic inventivity in Martino's originals like "Interchange", "Welcome To a Prayer", or in "Oleo" (Sonny Rollins).

Closing the night and the festival, followed the performance by the Phil Woods Quintet --- brilliant, as always. The pulmonary problems suffered by the leader weren't evident, absolutely, during his solos, which were long, fluent and perfectly enchained, both in terms of ideas and execution. Only after these, and as he left the stage in charge of Brian Lynch during all "Bus Stop" (Lynch), it would be more conspicuous that the old saxophonist needed to get his wind. In the same way, Lynch revealed himself as a great sensation, presenting virtuosic, inventive and brilliant solos in rapid tempi as in "So In Love" (Cole Porter). Also in ballads the two soloists topped expectations, shining in compositions like "People Time" (Benny Carter) and "Body And Soul". The audience thanked the juicy performance with long and enthusiastic applause, extensive to the wise selection by the fest's organizers, anticipating the next one and willing that something new happens so many other editions of the Free Jazz Festival occur in the future.

Alvaro Neder covered the festival by invitation of In Press Assessoria de Comunicação/ Concita Carvalho.

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