Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

21

Michael Lauren All Stars: Once Upon A Time In Portugal

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
Drummer/educator Michael 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. He formed his All Star band with some of Portugal's best jazz musicians to continue performing the hard bop he loves. Almost everyone contributes a tune, along with two period-appropriate covers. The septet stakes out their stylistic territory by opening with "Minor Strain," a Bobby Timmons composition first recorded by trumpeter Lee Morgan on Minor Strain (Roulette Records, 1960). While not often played, it's definitely classic hard bop. Lauren's "Bonfim Blues" is an up-tempo jazz blues which builds to a trumpet/saxophone duel. Saxophonist Jose Menezes' "Outras Viagens" (Other Travel) comes next. As is often the case with this egalitarian group, he gives the most solo space to other players, in this case vibes and guitar.

Vibraphonist Jeffery Davis contributes "Who Said Monopoly Was Fun," which is followed by the other cover in the set, a lovely latin arrangement of Hoagy Carmichael's "The Nearness Of You." Trumpeter Hugo Alves offers the most experimental entry. As its title implies, "Seven Ties Corp." is in seven (alternating with eight), and also has a bit of a Seventies fusion feel, although not so much as to make it sound out of place. "Trains" comes from the pen of pianist Diogo Vida. It starts out slowly—almost making it the ballad of the set—but builds to a fleet guitar/vibraphone dialog. Saxophonist Menezes returns with "Smoking Gun," which he opens playing solo. Finally, guitarist Nuno Ferreira's "Barro E Cal" (Clay and Lime) brings things to a close with more hard bop flair. Carlos Barretto is the only band member not represented as a composer, but mention should be made of his fine contrabass support throughout.

We don't have to take Lauren's word that these musicians are All Stars: their playing and composing proves it all the way through. Exciting music, rooted in the hard bop tradition without being mired in the past. Clearly Lauren's decision to record this quickly—and without rehearsal beforehand—was the right one.

Track Listing: Minor Strain; Bonfim Blues; Outras Viagens; Who Said Monopoly Was Fun; The Nearness of You; Seven Ties Corp.; Trains; Smoking Gun; Barro E Cal.

Personnel: Michael Lauren: drums; Hugo Alves: trumpet; Carlos Barretto: contrabass; Jeffrey Davis: vibraphone; Nuno Ferreira: guitar; José Menezes: saxophone; Diogo Vida: piano.

Title: Once Upon A Time In Portugal | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Why Not Music


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 21 CD/LP/Track Review Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 21
by Don Phipps
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Lavaman CD/LP/Track Review Lavaman
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "The Chase" CD/LP/Track Review The Chase
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Shamat" CD/LP/Track Review Shamat
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 16, 2017
Read "Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello" CD/LP/Track Review Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello
by John Eyles
Published: July 11, 2017
Read "Born In An Urban Ruin" CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Incidentals" CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "Golan/Al Joulan Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Golan/Al Joulan Vol. 2
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 8, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!