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Album Review

Sara Serpa: Recognition

Read "Recognition" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


A lot of people have started to come to grips with shameful parts of their national heritage in recent times. In America, that has meant protests against displays of the Confederate flag and monuments to Confederate Civil War generals. For Portuguese-born vocalist and composer Sara Serpa, dealing with her heritage has taken a more personal form with Recognition, a multi-media work dealing with Portugal's history of colonial oppression and subjugation of native peoples in Angola. The piece has ...

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Multiple Reviews

Clean Feed 2018

Read "Clean Feed 2018" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Since it's inception in 2002, Lisbon, Portugal's Clean Feed Records has released nearly 500 recordings. Last year the total was 64. Keeping up with their output might be the best way to follow innovative jazz and improvised music in the 21st century. Besides releasing music by masters such as Peter Brotzmann, Joe McPhee, Ivo Perelman, Elliott Sharp, Anthony Braxton, and Rudresh Mahanthappa, they have introduced world audiences to the talents of Rodrigo Amado, Luís Lopes, Dre Hočevar, Gard Nilssen, and ...

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Album Review

Sara Serpa: Close Up

Read "Close Up" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


Portuguese vocalist Sara Serpa has been a significant presence on the New York jazz scene for several years now, creating music with literary and artistic allusions in the company of renowned musicians like Ran Blake, Nicole Mitchell and Tyshawn Sorey. For her latest project she leads a trio that also features saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and cellist Erik Friedlander. The music they make together, with Serpa often singing wordlessly, creates an airy tapestry of sound. On “Sol Enganador" Friedlander ...

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Interview

Sara Serpa: A Musical Journey

Read "Sara Serpa: A Musical Journey" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


Vocalist and composer Sara Serpa is one of the most original and innovative musicians to emerge since the turn of the century. She has already made an indelible mark on the modern music scene in the span of a mere four years. Her unique style of vocalese allows her to utilize the full range of her exquisite and clear voice with the agility of an instrumentalist and stand out of the crowd as a sublime interpreter and a bold improviser. ...

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Album Review

Sara Serpa / Ran Blake: Aurora

Read "Aurora" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


Aurora is vocalist Sara Serpa's second release with her mentor, pianist Ran Blake. A duet recital recorded live at Lisbon's Auditório da Culturges, despite being more laidback and slightly less adventurous, it is just as creative as the pair's engrossing Camera Obscura (Inner Circle, 2010). Serpa and Blake's sparse and atmospheric delivery of these dozen songs is inventive, intellectually stimulating and satisfying. The cinematic “Dr. Mabuse" features Serpa's wordless vocals, moving from wistfully contemplative to fiercely passionate, ...

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Album Review

Sara Serpa / Ran Blake: Aurora

Read "Aurora" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni


Portuguese vocalist Sara Serp's follow-up to Camera Obscura (Inner Circle, 2010), with renowned pianist Ran Blake, retains the fresh and irreverent approach of their debut. A former student of Blake's the two never sound obvious or predictable, even when they are interpreting popular jazz standards. Their versions offer deeper and often innocent insights to some of these most memorable songs. Aurora's 12 songs were recorded live in Serpa's hometown of Lisbon, and demonstrates the duo's highly personal ...

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Album Review

Sara Serpa: Mobile

Read "Mobile" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


Portuguese singer Sara Serpa is what is produced when the talents of Gretchen Parlato, Simin Tander and Tierney Sutton coalesce. Her voice is light and elastic, sporting a fierce intellect. Couple this with a vision/sense of humor of a Nicholas Urie and the result is a radioactive type of 21st Century Beat Poetry. Like Urie and his lyric book sources Excerpts From An Online Dating Service (Red Piano, 2009)--with text from the same--and My Garden (Red Piano, 2011), drawn from ...


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