Drummer/educator Michael Lauren's Live At Mobydick Records project is a compact trio outing with guitarist Vasco Agostinho and double bassist João Custódio. Lauren moved from New York City in 2003 to become the Professor of Drum Set studies at the Escola Superior de Música, Artes e Espectáculo (ESMAE) in Porto, Portugal. This performance came about as the result of a worldwide live-stream concert from the recording studio at MobyDick Records in Braga, Portugal: a comfortable setting for the players, as well as an opportunity to record a live concert album.
The set opens with the upbeat swing of Sonny Rollins' "Biji," the only composition not composed by a trio member. After the bridge it launches into a section of trading eights in true bebop style, giving all the players a chance to shine. Agostinho begins his "Ritual Do Cabrito" with fuzz guitar, a startling change in sound which illustrates part of what Lauren means when he describes the band's sound as "Jazz with an Attitude." The guitar solo rocks out, leading into an energetic drum solo.
Lauren's "Bonfim Blues" begins with an unaccompanied drum solo before returning to a more traditional guitar trio sound for a swinging blues. There are three Lauren/Agostinho co-compositions. "Sempre Em Frente" has a rock/latin flavor; "Looking Back At Life" features a lyrical unaccompanied bass solo before launching into a lovely ballad; and the closer "A Bridge Remembered" is reminiscent of Thelonious Monk's "Straight, No Chaser," with its fast, serpentine chromatic line. It is a swinging conclusion to a varied program from a fine trio, with sound and attitude to spare.
Biji; Ritual Do Cabrito; Bonfim Blues; Sempre Em Frente; Looking Back At Life; Fresco; A Bridge Remembered.
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.