Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

2

Coreto: Aljamia

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
Coreto is an eleven-piece jazz ensemble from the Portuguese city of Porto. Aljamia, its début release, is also among the first albums to emerge from Porta-Jazz, an association of Porto jazz musicians.

Leader and alto saxophonist/flautist João Pedro Brandão is a student of the multilayered musical traditions of the Mediterranean. The region is a remarkably rich amalgam of ancient and modern, European and African and Arabic ingredients. The learned quality of Brandão's six compositions for Aljamia bears witness to this wealth of inspiration, but the record is not a visit to an ethno-musicological museum where the pieces of the musical mix are dissected under glass. The many musical strands of Brandão's passion remain as intertwined here as they do in the best examples of living, breathing music on both shores of the Mediterranean.

And they swing. Above all, this is a jazz record. And jazz, born of musical syncretism in New Orleans (like Porto, a port city), once again proves particularly well-adapted to merger with other mashed-up musical forms. The North African musical elements on tracks like the montuno-like piano-and-drums groove midway through "Satírico" sit comfortably with jazz harmonies. The performances are rhythmically and dynamically complex and pleasing.

The highlights of this disc are many. Agile arrangements recall no-one quite so much as Argentinian Guillermo Klein. Klein and Coreto are two far-flung branches on the same tree, of course, so this is not entirely surprising. More to the point, perhaps, they're also probably listening to the same records. Klein is among the finest arrangers of larger-ensemble jazz on the global scene today, so this is good company for Brandão and his band.

The compositions, too, are affecting, as are the performances. "Danças a Leste," with pianist Alexandre Dahmen's African-tinged introduction, leads to a fluid dialogue among the horns. The smoky opening harmonies of "Corrente," out of which baritone saxophonist Rui Teixeira's snakes cautiously, would not be out of place in a Gil Evans arrangement, while "Ensaio Primeiro" is a loping blues with a modal, Iberian bridge.

Long performances make room for some fine solos: trumpeter Susana Santos Silva's suitably Arabic-informed intervention on the opening "Kalenderi"; Brandão on alto sax on the gentle "Aeroporto"; and bassist José Carlos Barbosa on "Ensaio Primeiro."

The record is attractively packaged, with an especially-appreciated accounting of who is soloing where. Excellent marks all around.

Track Listing: Kalenderi; Satírico; Ensaio Primeiro; Corrente; Aeroporto; Danças a Leste.

Personnel: Ricardo Formoso: trumpet; Susana Santos Silva: trumpet; Daniel Dias: trombone; Andreia Santos: trombone; João Pedro Brandão: alto saxophone, flute; José Pedro Coelho: tenor saxophone; Fernando Sanchez: tenor saxophone; Rui Teixeira: baritone saxophone; Alexandre Dahmen: piano; José Carlos Barbosa: double bass; José Marrucho: drums.

Title: Aljamia | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Carimbo Porta-jazz

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Reaching Out CD/LP/Track Review Reaching Out
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 18, 2018
Read The Songbook Project CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Project
by Don Phipps
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Solo a Genova CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "One" CD/LP/Track Review One
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "No Matter Where Noir" CD/LP/Track Review No Matter Where Noir
by Patrick Burnette
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Äventyret" CD/LP/Track Review Äventyret
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 5, 2017
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "New Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review New Helsinki
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "Umbrella Weather" CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017