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Luis Vicente 4tet: House In The Valley

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Luis Vicente 4tet: House In The Valley
Portuguese trumpeter Luis Vicente wrote the four compositions which make up House In The Valley during lockdown. His intention was to evoke childhood memories of times at his grandparents' rural house. Judging from the outcomes there must have been a lot of '60s American New Thing on the turntable at the time. In particular the way the group realizes Vicente's melodies recalls Don Cherry's outings from that period such as Complete Communion (Blue Note, 1966) and Symphony For Improvisers (Blue Note, 1967).

That is not just because the trumpeter runs his themes together in a way reminiscent of Cherry's mini-suites, on two lengthy cuts totaling some 67-minutes from a 2021 concert. There is also the contrast between Vicente and his regular collaborator Amsterdam-based American tenor saxophonist John Dikeman. Between the trumpeter's blend of the lyric and the agitated, and the saxophonist's full-bodied extension of Albert Ayler into the 21st century which ups the ante dramatically on what fire-breathing reedman Gato Barbieri brought to the Cherry sessions.

Along with the reedman's fellow countryman bassist Luke Stewart—a mainstay of Irreversible Entanglements—and Dutch drummer Onno Govaert—another frequent partner—all bring extensive improv credentials to the bandstand, which allow productive forays into the wilds before ultimately bushwhacking back to the written path. That is heard most tellingly during the floating textural exchange partway through the 40 plus minutes of "Luisa's Laugh + House In The Valley."

Vicente's charts, variously anthemic, celebratory and elegiac, have a familiar feel, but retain the ability to please if not surprise. They also offer launchpads, if needed, for the expansive freewheeling horn solos which illuminate the date. Dikeman and Vicente have developed a fine understanding over the years, which can also be heard on Live At Zaal 100 (Clean Feed, 2016) and Salão Brazil (NoBusiness, 2017) among other places, spawning some blistering interplay. Stewart and Govaert generate a superlative free pulsation, unpredictable, tonally varied but naggingly propulsive. Put all four together and the results are stellar.

Track Listing

Anahata + Little Dance; Luísa's Laugh + House In The Valley.

Personnel

Luis Vicente
trumpet
John Dikeman
saxophone, tenor

Album information

Title: House In The Valley | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Clean Feed


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