Piedra Solarthe second album of the MoFrancesco Quintettois 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 gifted musicians re-defines and explores the limits of latin jazz within Mediterranean tones, funk beats, and bebop solos.
Opening up with the mellifluous yet muscular "Ala'Ad-Din," Valente delivers his concern for rhythm and harmony. The bass /drum combination flows naturally to pave the ground to both trumpeter Johannes Krieger and saxophonist Joao Capinha to unleash beautiful ascending notes with a sense of completion. In the same vein "Abraxas" conveys the same feel and structure, yet with an additional funky festive note enhanced by percussionist Marcos Suzano's pandeiro instrument. Tripping, enamoring and spicy are remarkable tunes such as "Start Flying Song," "Miracolo a Milano," or Santana's rendition "Ambos Mundos.''
On the other hand, Mofrancesco Quintet is capable of playing cool meditative tunes where themes are given prominence. Both pianist Iuri Gaspar's "Tres Morillas" and drummer José Miguel Moreira's "Persian Story" are notable examples of smooth jazz songs with a Mediterranean touch. The exploratory vision of the quintet allows space for poetry: The thespian track "Vuelta De Paseao" displays the words of Frederico Garcia Lorca spoken by Jaco Loredo. Similarly "Apareció" is a dramatic interlude where Loredo's voice seems threatening. Whereas the highly melancholic tune "Impressiones Intimas," is a deep emotional demonstration marked by soft conversational style between double bass and piano. Krieger's metallic blow on trumpet adds drama to the song in anticipation of a climatic accelerando.
The variety of the tunes and their singular nature make of Piedra Solar a multifarious album shining with creativity, ardor, elegance and concern for arrangement. The album should make a big splash.
Ala’Ad-Din; Abraxas; Tres Morilla; Persian Story; Olisipo; Vuelta De
Paseo; Start Flying Song; Mobocracy; Impressiones Intimas; Apareció;
Miracolo A Milano; Mukambo; Ambos Mundos
Francesco Valente: acoustic bass, electric bass; Miguel Moreira:
drums; Iuri Gaspar: piano; João Capinhar: alto sax; Johannes Krieger:
trumpet; Guto Lucena: tenor sax, baritone sax, flute, bass flute;
Marcos Suzano: percussion; Aline Frazão: voice; Jaco Loredo: voice
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