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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

MoFrancesco Quintetto: Piedra Solar

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The instantly engaging “Ala'Ad-Din" opens this 70 minute set, the second album by this talented Lisbon-based group. A bass and piano riff confidently introduces “Abraxas" with unison horns taking up the main theme, leader Francesco Valente's electric bass to the fore and Brazilian guest percussionist Marcos Suzano playing pandeiro to great effect. Aline Frazão's sublime vocals on “Tres Morillas" or Guto Lucena's flute on the pastoral “Persian Story" demonstrate that this band has an innate ability to hold the listener's attention without use of volume. The ensemble attack of “Olisipo" (the old name for Lisbon, where the album ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

MoFrancesco Quintetto: Maloca

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Italian bassist Francesco Valente's fascination with the culture of Brazil inspired the title of this album. A moloca is an Amazonian ancestral longhouse and a habitat for sharing knowledge, stories and music. In this case, the communal home is his adopted Lisbon and Valente's family is a multi-national quintet whose musical ancestors have bequeathed the jazz vernacular in all its global diversity. Together, the musical narratives that the MoFrancesco Quintetto shares draw from traditional and contemporary jazz, Iberian folkloric flavors and 20th century European classical music. Melody and rhythm are key components of Valente's compositions and form the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

MoFrancesco Quintetto: Maloca

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Having appeared as a sideman on countless albums for over a decade, Italian bassist Francesco Valente finally unveils his first effort as leader with the modern jazz and fusion-like Maloca fronting his MoFrancesco Quintetto as they perform a session of fresh new originals exemplifying some of the styles and sounds of the Mediterranean area. Valente honed his skills as a musician while living in Lisbon, Portugal for sixteen years, performing in local venues and at various international festivals all while enhancing his academic credentials with a music degree from Escola Superior de Musica de Lisbon (ESML). Opening up ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

MoFrancesco Quintetto: Maloca

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A maloca is an ancestral long house used by Indians in the Amazonian jungle to receive outsiders and exchange knowledge and ideas. Italian bassist Francesco Valente became fascinated with the idea of the maloca on a trip to Brazil, Bolivia and Peru. A close perusal of the album cover reveals him doing a push-up between the M and the L of MALOCA at Uyuni, in Bolivia as a tropical storm looms. Valente, 39, now lives in Lisbon, where he studied jazz bass at the Escola Superior de Musica and now studies ethnomusicology at the ...



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