Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Mazam: Pilgrimage


Mazam: Pilgrimage


Sign in to view read count
Mazam: Pilgrimage
The format of Pilgrimage by the Portuguese quartet Mazam gives listeners the option of skipping any track they do not enjoy. The ensemble gives us fifteen shortish pieces (only three longer than five minutes) to sample, digest, and savor. This is the quartet's second release following Land (Carimbo Porta-Jazz, 2020). The musicians come together with experience in other influential groups. Saxophonist João Mortágua performs in the fusion ensemble Axes, Diogo Alexandre Bock Ensemble, and leads his own band. Pianist Carlos Azevedo is proficient in both classical and jazz. He released the stellar Serpente (Carimbo Porta-Jazz, 2022) with his piano, guitar, bass and drums quartet. Both bassist Miguel Angelo and drummer Mário Costa are members of Azevedo's quartet along with guitarist Miguel Moreira. Ãngelo leads a quartet, a trio MAU, and co—leads the quartet MAP. Costa can be heard on recordings by Hugo Carvalhais and Daniel Bernardes.

The various combinations of ensembles these players are in, mean their coming together in Mazam creates a true synergistic effect. Indeed, the whole is much greater than the sum of the individual parts here. The undulating "Sinuous" opens with bubbling notes and meditative passages from piano, saxophone and bowed bass, sounding like a Bernard Herrmann soundtrack to an Alfred Hitchcock thriller. The same movie plot twists are found in the fifty seconds of "Atrium." The even more succinct "Stubble" (38 seconds) echoes the M-BASE sounds of Steve Coleman's music, and the eviscerated approach of "Schism" pulls pieces and parts from the piano's insides and percussive drift into an alert concoction. While many of the tracks are group improvisations, the final sound is very much balanced and gives the impression it is composed. "Pilgrimage" is a sly bit of post-bop gymnastics. While there is the possibility to skip past any of the tracks, many listeners probably won't.

Track Listing

Sinuous; Atrium; Bugbear; Inception; Stubble; Pilgrimage; Pulley; Day Dream; Night Drive; Stubborn; Roundhouse; Anthill; Mist; Schism; Hollow.


João Mortágua
saxophone, alto
Miguel Angelo
bass, acoustic

Album information

Title: Pilgrimage | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records



For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.


Silent, Listening
Fred Hersch
Riley Mulherkar
3 Works For Strings
Giusto Chamber Orchestra
My Multiverse
Pearring Sound


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.