133

Susana Santos Silva Quintet: Devil's Dress

Chris Mosey By

Sign in to view read count
Susana Santos Silva Quintet: Devil's Dress Matosinhos, a northern suburb of Oporto, Portugal, is renowned for its high quality fish and seafood—and, increasingly nowadays, its jazz. It is home to the 20-piece Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos, best known internationally for its collaborations with veteran US saxophonist Lee Konitz and, most recently, with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel on Our Secret World (Wommusic, 2010)..

Now five young members of the band, under the leadership of trumpeter Susana Santos Silva, have come together to produce what they claim to be "a music without boundaries and preconceived ideas." They talk bravely of "new challenges and artistic conceptions" but jettison old staples such as melody and swing. The end result is self-conscious experimentation that ultimately doesn't make a great deal of sense.

The tone is set by the opening number, Silva's "Go," on which bassist Demian Cabaud leads the way into a discordant ensemble reminiscent of Gil Evans, post-Miles Davis. The leader interacts well with tenor saxophonist Zé Pedro Coelho for awhile, and competent solos from Coelho, Silva and Cabaud follow, but the song never really goes anywhere and neither does it arrive at a very convincing conclusion.

Only on the closing tune, "Anjo Da Guarda" are there hints—but only hints, unfortunately—of what might have been, had the bid to storm the heights of postmodernism been abandoned in favor of a thoughtful examination of the group's roots and an attempt made to infuse its jazz with that specifically Portuguese feeling of saudade, the atmosphere of melancholy and loss pervading the country's traditional folk music, fado.

The rock-influenced title track opens promisingly, comes close to swinging, but rapidly degenerates into discord, underpinned by heavy, menacing guitar from André Fernandes. There follows some low-key spacy squawking, before Silva manages to inject some melody but then the song just peters out. "Warmth" is one of the better numbers, starting in chaos and, while never really resolving into anything very coherent, there are high points that feature Silva's lyrical playing, backed by good, subdued guitar work and an interesting ending. Bassist Demian Cabaud's "En Febrero" is mournful with flashes of guitar brilliance, while "Wishful Thoughts" has some interesting twists and turns, along with echoes of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps."

These are young, talented musicians. It's a shame they have been unable, with this album, to put that talent to a more sensibly structured and better -ocused use. But, hopefully, there will be plenty of future opportunities to refine and develop their art.

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.

Title: Devil's Dress | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Tone of a Pitch Music


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read We Know Not What We Do CD/LP/Track Review We Know Not What We Do
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Slade Alive! CD/LP/Track Review Slade Alive!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Hope CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Paris
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "The Company I Keep" CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 9, 2017
Read "Cosmic Adventure" CD/LP/Track Review Cosmic Adventure
by James Nadal
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "From Two Balconies" CD/LP/Track Review From Two Balconies
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "Rise Of Orion" CD/LP/Track Review Rise Of Orion
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "Swallowed by the New" CD/LP/Track Review Swallowed by the New
by Doug Collette
Published: November 5, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!