All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

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

Related Articles

Read Oscar Peterson Plays CD/LP/Track Review
Oscar Peterson Plays
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 23, 2018
Read State Of The Baritone Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one) CD/LP/Track Review
Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)
by Chris May
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Friends & Family CD/LP/Track Review
Friends & Family
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read "Traveling Pulse" CD/LP/Track Review Traveling Pulse
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 15, 2018
Read "Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965" CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Rome" CD/LP/Track Review Rome
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 18, 2017
Read "Volume III: Magnetic Cycles" CD/LP/Track Review Volume III: Magnetic Cycles
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 19, 2017
Read "Pulse/Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "Cluster Swerve" CD/LP/Track Review Cluster Swerve
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 6, 2017