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Live Reviews

Lisbon's Jazz em Agosto

By Published: September 14, 2005
Fellow violinist Ernesto Rodrigues runs the Creative Sources label, which has been one of the primary documenters of experimental improv in Lisbon. His new release features accordionist Alfredo Costa Monteiro, here playing amplified turntable, with New York electronicist Barry Weisblat. The disc is deeply quiet, with pauses long enough to lead the listener either to introspection or agita. In the spirit of good improvisation, though, they work well together, carrying out each other's suggestions and finding a single, unique group voice.

In the liner notes to his solo piano recording Indigo, Bernardo Sassetti disavows the term "jazz, or at least tells his interviewer not to ask him "Why jazz? It's a strange request, because the record is the jazz of the first order, certainly the most within-tradition of the releases under review here. He's not bopping major sevenths to be sure, but the recording is in the style of the most elegiac Billy Strayhorn, the most introspective Paul Bley. Further weakening his claim against jazz is the choice in covers: In no hurry, he steps through "My Funny Valentine, Monk's "Raise Four and "In Walked Bud and a few other near-standards with the particularly Portuguese, melancholic saudade. It is, in other words, a lovely record, and the sort of thing that—through the efforts of some new labels and avid attempts at distribution—we might be fortunate enough to hear more of in the coming years.

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