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Old Mountain: Another State Of Rhythm


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Old Mountain: Another State Of Rhythm
Clean Feed Records has once again proven its prowess in bringing innovative jazz to the forefront, and Old Mountain's latest offering is a guiding light for those seeking to venture beyond the conventional boundaries of the genre. Each member brings a distinctive flair, yet their interplay feels seamless, creating a soundscape that is rich in texture and depth.

Old Mountain's latest album, Another State of Rhythm, invites listeners on a contemplative journey. This quintet, featuring Pedro Branco on piano, Tony Malaby on tenor sax, Joao Sousa on drums, and two bassists—João Hasselberg and Hernâni Faustino—creates a musical landscape that blends bluesy introspection with free improvisation.

The album opens with a nod to history: "Goodnight Irene," a 1933 composition by Leadbelly. Branco's semi-free and contrasting piano work, tinged with bluesy intervals, intertwines with Malaby's soulful melodies, while the bass players and Sousa's drums provide a gentle rocking rhythm. The solemnity of tracks like "The Sixth Commandment" and "Ballad for Paul" (dedicated to Paul Motian) adds depth, with harmonic piano abstractions, and Malaby's pleading and yearning saxophone lines. Yet "All of Our Heroes" is where the pianist hammers out a forceful free-form groove as all hell breaks loose, especially when Malaby injects a rippling, full-throttle solo.

"Montanha" (Portuguese for mountain) stands out as the album's longest and most intriguing piece. Branco's wistful piano lines evoke distant mountain landscapes that stretch into infinity with supple backdrops provided by the rhythm section. The music transitions, turning bluesy—a New Orleans funeral procession of sorts—melding sadness and joy in an odd but captivating combination. This music refuses to be pigeonholed, constantly shifting, and evolving.

The album weaves together diverse influences, grounding improvisations in melancholy. It serves as a relevant reflection of our increasingly disappointing world. The band scales melodic, nostalgia-fueled summits, leaving listeners with a sense of both longing and hope. In this album, Old Mountain crafts a sonic landscape where soul meets abstraction, inviting us to explore the emotional contours of our inner mountains.

Track Listing

Goodnight, Irene; The Sixth Commandment; Giraldo; All of Our Heroes; Ballad For Paul; Blend in By Standing Out; Stick to the Plan; Freebus; Montanha.


Tony Malaby
saxophone, tenor
Hernâni Faustino
bass, acoustic
João Hasselberg
bass, acoustic

Album information

Title: Another State Of Rhythm | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records



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