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André Fernandes: Wonder Wheel

Read "Wonder Wheel" reviewed by Chris Mosey

André Fernandes, guitarist with the Orquestra Jazz De Matosinhos, one of Portugal's most dynamic big bands, is an accomplished musician and was obviously hoping for great things with this one. He commissioned Maria Bouza Pinto, an artist who is the epitome of “ le cool Lisboa“ to design the cover. And he recruited Ines Sousa from ...

Cine Qua Non: Cine Qua Non

Read "Cine Qua Non" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Sine qua non is a Latin term meaning something absolutely needed, or essential. This Portuguese quartet is exactly that in terms of bringing melody and accessibility back to the fore in European jazz. However, their name is mis-spelt because accordionist Joao Paulo Esteves da Silva says their music “alludes to the cinema."

With ...

Orquestra Jazz De Matosinhos: Jazz Composers Forum

Read "Jazz Composers Forum" reviewed by Chris Mosey

In 1937 Duke Ellington's recipe for big band jazz was: “It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing." Count Basie later added a caveat defining swing as something “you can really pat your foot by."

Times sure have changed. Portugal's Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos commissioned pieces by eight modern composers ...

Andre Carvalho: Memoria De Amiba

Read "Andre Carvalho: Memoria De Amiba" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Subtlety and gentility are not qualities that our modern world tends to value significantly, but in jazz they can add greatly to the listening experience. Think perhaps of say a Bill Evans and Jim Hall collaboration or maybe Arve Henriksen's recent Places of Worship, music that beguiles and insinuates its way into your sub-conscious until it ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andre Carvahlo: Memoria De Amiba

Read "Memoria De Amiba" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Early inspiration comes to jazz musicians in a number of ways. Many can remember the first time they heard Miles Davis or Charlie Parker, others recall their first encounter with Ella Fitzgerald. Bassist André Carvalho has vivid memories of the amoeba--vivid and important enough to name his second album in honor of the unicellular creature, Memória ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

André Santos: Ponto De Partida

Read "Ponto De Partida" reviewed by Chris Mosey

This album is exactly what it says it is: a Ponto de Partida, or “Starting Point" for André Santos, a young jazz guitarist from the island of Madeira, and his band.

What's on offer here is pretty sparse and minimalist but hints at greater things to come. The band has already won a ...

Joao Paulo Esteves Da Silva & Jazz Orquestra de Matosinhos: Bela Senao Sem

Read "Bela Senao Sem" reviewed by Chris Mosey

João Paulo Esteves Da Silva's compositions, while owing much to the folk and classical traditions of his native Portugal and something to Gil Evans' writing in the 1950s, on occasion display quite breathtaking originality.

If modern, post-Salazar Portugal has a musical identity it is surely contained in these wordless, questing songs emerging from ...

Susana Santos Silva: Devil's Dress

Read "Devil's Dress" reviewed by Daniel Lehner

The Portuguese big band Orquestra Jazz De Matisinhos (OJM) has played engagements and recorded albums with big names like Lee Konitz and Kurt Rosenwinkel. One of its trumpeters, Susana Santos Silva, has gathered four other members of the ensemble for her debut album, Devil's Dress. As with the OJM, Silva's music acts as a testing ground ...

Susana Santos Silva Quintet: Devil's Dress

Read "Devil's Dress" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The Devil wears many guises, as does the music on Devil's Dress. Trumpeter Susana Santos Silva spans a variety of styles and, while some songs contain a dark presence and power that perfectly suits Beelzebub's reputation, other songs have a brighter outlook that looks upward toward the skies, not downward toward Hades.

While ...

Susana Santos Silva Quintet: Devil's Dress

Read "Devil's Dress" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Matosinhos, a northern suburb of Oporto, Portugal, is renowned for its high quality fish and seafood--and, increasingly nowadays, its jazz. It is home to the 20-piece Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos, best known internationally for its collaborations with veteran US saxophonist Lee Konitz and, most recently, with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel on Our Secret World (Wommusic, 2010)..