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Pedro Melo Alves: Lumina


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Pedro Melo Alves: Lumina
On the burgeoning Portuguese jazz scene, drummer Pedro Melo Alves is becoming one of the more prolific artists. The multiple award-winning composer has accumulated international praise for four unique recordings in the space of a year. On Lumina he has extended his existing ensemble and assembled the Omniae Large Ensemble of twenty-two musicians for a project commissioned by the Guimarães Jazz Festival.

Melo Alves' Clean Feed Records debut was a quartet outing (with vocalists), In Igma (2020), a demanding and rewarding avant-garde experiment. His Omniae Ensemble, in smaller and larger configurations, is a bridge between jazz, free improvisation, and classical elements. Lumina features three extended pieces, each in constant motion. At over a half-hour, "Ubi" is typical of Melo Alves' loose constructions floating around central themes. Eerie passages and disembodied voices drift through sometimes intense infernos of sound. "Phelia" is more instrument-focused. Multiple percussionists, Mané Fernandes' guitar, José Diogo Martins' piano, and a quartet of vocalists act alone or mingle before drifting away on a gentle wave of bells. The concluding twenty-plus-minute "Onirea" brings the ensemble sections together more frequently, sometimes at dizzying speeds. It is a piece whose density contrasts nicely with its spaciousness.

Melo Alves speaks of "omniae" as the space in a formless whole. A difficult concept to grasp on paper but one that comes to life in the ensemble music of Lumina. The album was recorded live at Centro Cultural Vila Flor in Guimarães, Portugal in late 2020. It is a fascinating new music suite, often orchestral in its scope but finely nuanced, and at times, minimal. The rhythmic pulse is often unhurried but recurrently, with a menacing tension waiting to break free. Melo Alves is dedicated to both curiosity and tradition equally, and here he dares to express his ideas in a new language.

Track Listing

Ubi; Phelia; Onirea.


Additional Instrumentation

Pablo Patiño Moledo: double bass; Clara Saleiro: flutes; Joao Pedro Brandao: flute, alto sax; Yedo Gibson: flute, sax, clarinet; Albert Cirera: saxophones; Frederic Cardoso: clarinet; Álvaro Machado: bassoon; Carlo Mascolo: trombone; Fábio Rodrigues: tuba; Luis Martins: classical guitar; Luis André Ferreira: cello; Alvaro Rosso: double bass; Mariana Dionísio: voice; Nazaré da Silva: voice; João Neves: voice; Diogo Ferreira: voice; João Miguel Braga Simões: percussion; Pedro Carneiro: musical director.

Album information

Title: Lumina | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records



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