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João Valinho / Luís Vicente / Salvoandrea Lucifora / Marcelo dos Reis: Light Machina


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João Valinho / Luís Vicente / Salvoandrea Lucifora / Marcelo dos Reis: Light Machina
For discerning listeners, the presence on an album of the Portuguese double act of trumpeter Luis Vicente and guitarist Marcelo Dos Reis is a near guarantee of excellence. They've appeared on a whole series of top drawer releases including Points (Multikulti Project, 2019), Chamber 4 (FMR, 2015) and For Sale (Clean Feed, 2015). To that roster can be added Light Machina, where they join countryman drummer João Valinho and Sicilian trombonist Salvoandrea Lucifora, in a freely improvised concert from Coimbra in March 2020.

A conversational group ethos informs each of the three pieces on the 41-minute set, although that doesn't preclude passages where only one, two or three people are playing. Case in point is the opener "Machina Girls" which begins with a lengthy soliloquy from Lucifora, by turns questioning, expansive and insistent. Like Vicente, he approaches his horn in a spirit of timbral inventiveness, but at times also displays a lyrical bent which meshes well when Miles Davis is uppermost in the trumpeter's mind. As a result there's frequently a consonance to their dialogue, like the chuntering extemporized counterpoint at the outset of "The RainGoat."

That same cut demonstrates another of the outfit's virtues: the grasp of how to intimate structure on-the-fly. Dos Reis is a past master of this art, often selflessly sustaining a repeating thread which anchors the otherwise unfettered expression, as he does here with his rippling electric guitar, and earlier with his reiterated scrubbed textures in "Saving Pigs." Valinho also adopts a similar role, when he breaks away from his restrained clatter or roiling accentuation, to mark a clockwork-like pulse on cymbals. But that's not to suggest that attention to form amid the spontaneous outpourings is any one person's responsibility. Everyone attends to the needs of the whole, even as they are pursuing their individual paths, with the outcome an endlessly fascinating interplay.

Track Listing

Machina Girls; Saving Pigs; The RainGoat.


Album information

Title: Light Machina | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Multikulti Project

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