Susana Santos Silva Quintet: Devil's Dress (2011)
Portuguese trumpeter Susan Santos Silva follows assuredly in the footsteps of an elite pair of contemporary European trumpeters, Poland's Tomasz Stanko and Italy's Enrico Rava, with the release of her debut, Devil's Dress. Employing a very common quintet line-up of trumpet and saxophone with a guitar/bass/drums rhythm section, Silva creates uncommonly original music.
"Go," the first tune of this set of six Silva originalsand two more tunes contributed by her bandmatesunfolds at a measured pace, with a good deal of unison blowing over an unsettled rhythm, somewhat like the approach Miles Davis employed on Nefertiti ( Columbia, 1968). Silva's tone is a bit grainy, scratching against the warm growl of tenor saxophonist Ze Pedro Coelho. The horns trade solos, saxophone followed by trumpet, both players having an eloquent story to tell.
The band is exceptional, players with the ability to navigate between near-mainstream to free to adventurously experimental jazz. The title tune is a searingly ominous dervish of sound that winds down to an interlude of Silva's restrained blowing inside a waning storm of rumbling drums and a humming electric guitar. "Warmth" is an eerie tone poem featuring interwoven horn lines, with Silva and Coelho involved in a responsive dance until the tune coalesces into something like a folk song.
"Tomboy," penned by the quintet's guitarist, Andre Fernandes, is the closest to mainstream jazz on the set. Opening with an introspective mood, the trumpet and saxophone converse on top of Fernandes' ethereal, chiming chords before the guitarist rolls into a superbly inventive solo of his own inside a rumbling bass/drum groove.
The most impressive star of trumpeter Susana Santos Silva's résumé was, until now, her participation on the excellent Lee Konitz-Ohad Talmor big band set, Portology (Omnitone, 2007), with the Orquestra de Matosinhos. She steps out into the limelight with her debut recording, the original and adventurousbut always engagingDevil's Dress.
Track Listing: Go; Devil's Dress; Warmth; En Febrero; Wishful Thoughts; Tomboy; Claudia; Anjo Da Guarda.
Personnel: Susana Santos Silva: trumpet, flugelhorn; Ze Pedro Coelho: tenor saxophone; Andre Fernandes: guitar; Demian Cabaud: bass; Marcos Cavaleiro: drums.
Record Label: Tone of a Pitch Music
Style: Modern Jazz