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ALBUM REVIEW

MoFrancesco Quintetto: Kucheza

Read "Kucheza" reviewed by Chris Mosey

This album features a new, jazz version of the oldest song in the world. “The Seikilos Epitaph," probably from 200BC, was found engraved on a tombstone, or stele near the ancient Greek city of Ephesus in what is now Turkey. It was signed by someone called Seikilos and dedicated to Euterpe, most likely his wife, along with the following lyrics: While you live, shine Have no grief at all Life exists only ...

ALBUM REVIEW

MoFrancesco Quintetto: Kucheza

Read "Kucheza" reviewed by Sacha O'Grady

Jazz has certainly come a long way since its early beginnings, whose free spirit and richness of form means that one could easily spend a whole lifetime marvelling at its infinite variety. And none more so than on Kucheza, the MoFrancesco Quintetto's sublime and engaging new album. Based in Lisbon, Portugal, European jazz doesn't get any better than this. Combining both traditional elements of the art form, along with more continental contours, Kucheza makes for one sophisticated and enjoyable journey. ...

ALBUM REVIEW

MoFrancesco Quintetto: Piedra Solar (MoFrancesco Quintetto)

Read "Piedra Solar (MoFrancesco Quintetto)" reviewed by Budd Kopman

The MoFrancesco Quintetto, led by super-bassist Francesco Valente is one powerhouse group that will blow your socks off playing originals anchored in hard-bop with an Iberian twist, but who also can show a softer, more melodic side. Piedra Solar features the core group (Valente, drummer/percussionist Miguel Moreira, pianist Iuri Gaspar, Johannes Krieger on trumpet with Joao Capinha on tenor sax and flute or multi-instrumentalist (saxophones and flutes) Guto Lucena, and here with guest vocalists Jaco Loredo and Aline ...

ALBUM REVIEW

MoFrancesco Quintetto: Piedra Solar

Read "Piedra Solar" reviewed by Mehdi El Mouden

Piedra Solar--the second album of the MoFrancesco Quintetto--is deeply rooted in Mediterranean and latin influences. Highly structured yet with a pint of improvisation, the songs reveal deep consideration of past influences, familiar themes, and novel straight ahead jazz. In the Quintet's words, the album pays homage to the Iberian Peninsula where Italian bass lead player and composer Francesco Valente has dwelled for eighteen years. An ethnomusicology graduate and currently a Ph.D candidate, Valente along with a group of ...

ALBUM REVIEW

MoFrancesco Quintetto: Piedra Solar

Read "Piedra Solar" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Time was when jazz flirtations with the Iberian Peninsula were limited to the gentle rattle of castanets followed by Rodrigo's “Concierto De Aranjuez" and a feeling you were doing something intellectual. No more. Francesco Valente cites as a major source of inspiration for this album--a homage to his adopted homeland--Portuguese author Jose Saramago's novel “The Stone Raft," in which a crack appears in the Pyrenees and Spain and Portugal start to drift out into the Atlantic, away ...

ALBUM REVIEW

MoFrancesco Quintetto: Piedra Solar

Read "Piedra Solar" reviewed by Roger Farbey

The instantly engaging “Ala'Ad-Din" opens this 70 minute set, the second album by this talented Lisbon-based group. A bass and piano riff confidently introduces “Abraxas" with unison horns taking up the main theme, leader Francesco Valente's electric bass to the fore and Brazilian guest percussionist Marcos Suzano playing pandeiro to great effect. Aline Frazão's sublime vocals on “Tres Morillas" or Guto Lucena's flute on the pastoral “Persian Story" demonstrate that this band has an innate ability to hold ...

ALBUM REVIEW

MoFrancesco Quintetto: Maloca

Read "Maloca" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Italian bassist Francesco Valente's fascination with the culture of Brazil inspired the title of this album. A moloca is an Amazonian ancestral longhouse and a habitat for sharing knowledge, stories and music. In this case, the communal home is his adopted Lisbon and Valente's family is a multi-national quintet whose musical ancestors have bequeathed the jazz vernacular in all its global diversity. Together, the musical narratives that the MoFrancesco Quintetto shares draw from traditional and contemporary jazz, Iberian folkloric flavors ...


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