4

MoFrancesco Quintetto: Maloca

Chris Mosey By

Sign in to view read count
A maloca is an ancestral long house used by Indians in the Amazonian jungle to receive outsiders and exchange knowledge and ideas.

Italian bassist Francesco Valente became fascinated with the idea of the maloca on a trip to Brazil, Bolivia and Peru. A close perusal of the album cover reveals him doing a push-up between the M and the L of MALOCA at Uyuni, in Bolivia as a tropical storm looms.

Valente, 39, now lives in Lisbon, where he studied jazz bass at the Escola Superior de Musica and now studies ethnomusicology at the city's Universidade Nova. Through the latter he discovered classical composer Bela Bartok and the work he did to preserve the traditional music of his native Hungary.

When he formed a quintet featuring Guto Lucena, a Brazilian now living in Sweden, on saxophones and bass clarinet and Johannes Krieger, from Germany, on trumpet, Valente invited Bartok into the musical maloca they created.

This, the quintet's first album, features jazz versions of Bartok's "An Evening At The Village," "Ket Roman Tanc" and "Buciumeana-Romanian Folk Dances." They are all remarkably accessible, perhaps not that surprising. Bartok, while initially suspicious, took an interest in jazz, writing a concerto for violin and clarinet which was performed at Carnegie Hall in 1939 with Hungarian violinist Joseph Szigeti and Benny Goodman as soloists.

If all this makes Maloca sound like some kind of academic exercise: it ain't. The album really cooks right from the off, trumpeter Johannes Krieger's "Tjap Tjap Tjap," featuring fine work from the leader and Iuri Gaspar on piano.

The title song, as you might expect, is Latin-tinged and percussive with Gaspar's piano bringing to mind McCoy Tyner. It ends with a joyous yell of "Maloca!" Valente sees this as "an explosion of enthusiasm but also a defiant proclamation of how much better the world would be if all our houses were open to diversity."

Thinking man's music, Euro jazz/fusion at its very best: Bartok would have approved.

Track Listing: Tchap Tchap Tchap; Maloca; Hamsa; An Evening At The Village; Ket Roman Tanc; Buciumeana-Romanian Folk Dances; Naira; Soul.

Personnel: Francesco Valente: bass; Johannes Krieger: trumpet; Guto Lucena: reeds; Iuri Gaspar: piano; Miguel Moreira: drums.

Title: Maloca | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Art of Life Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Out Of The Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of The Blue
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "The Wild" CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Don't Blink" CD/LP/Track Review Don't Blink
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 4, 2017
Read "TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)" CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Special Night" CD/LP/Track Review Special Night
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 25, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.