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...


Dan Costa: Skyness

Dr. Judith Schlesinger By

Sign in to view read count
The gentle piano "Prologue" instantly telegraphs that something rare and luxurious is on its way. These are the opening chords of Skyness, the gifted pianist/composer Dan Costa's 2018 follow-up to his auspicious 2016 debut, Suite Três Rios (also self-produced), which peaked at number one on the iTunes jazz chart and was named one of the year's best albums by Downbeat. Born in London to Portuguese and Italian parents, Costa has studied and lived in Brazil, France, Portugal, and Sweden, and salutes the special light of an idyllic Greek island with his song "Iremia," which means "peacefulness" in that ancient language.

In his brief liner poem about the meaning of Skyness, Costa conjures "the open-minded stillness" of that expanse, which offers "an invitation to outer harmony and inner peace." And the music here really brings that invitation home.

The delicious "Tempos Sentidos" (roughly, "sense of time") opens with a strong melodic wake-up call, then slides into its languorous melody as if it were a fragrant bath. Costa's unfussy piano and Jorge Helder's elegant bass are enhanced by the exquisite commentary of guitar master Roberto Menescal. "Compelling" is more oblique and free, adding the warm, rounded tone of flutist Teco Cardoso, while the misterioso "Lisbon Skyline" features the twelve steel strings of Custodio Castelo's Portuguese guitar, evoking the bluesy fado tradition associated with this instrument.

Other guest luminaries include guitarists Romero Lubambo and Nelson Faria and Seamus Blake on tenor saxophone. This would be impressive company in any case, but it's especially so considering that Skyness is only Costa's second album, made when he was not yet 30. The three solo pieces highlight his eloquent technique and introduce classy originals that sound like nothing else.

Although it is tempting to map the delight found in each of these nine tracks, it's arguably more enjoyable for listeners to make those discoveries for themselves. But here's a helpful summary: while Skyness has a relaxing effect, this is not bland wallpaper for the ears—not with such lovely melodies, sophisticated harmonies, and soulful contributions of seven world- class artists. The only quibble is that, at 40 minutes, the CD is a bit too short; but if the only problem is that there's not enough music, it's a great one to have.

Track Listing: Prologue; Tempos Sentidos; Compelling; Lisbon Skyline; Intracycle; Sete Enredos; Iremia; Lume; Skyness.

Personnel: Dan Costa: piano, compositions and production; Roberto Menescal: acoustic guitar (2); Jorge Helder: double bass (2); Teco Cardoso: flute (3); Custodio Castelo: Portuguese guitar (4); Romero Lubambo: acoustic guitar (6); Nelson Faria: electric guitar (8); Seamus Blake: tenor saxophone (9).

Title: Skyness | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Self Produced



comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Read more articles


Self Produced

Suite Três Rios

Suite Três Rios

Self Produced



Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Absinthe Album Reviews
By Mark Sullivan
March 18, 2019
Read Chi Album Reviews
By John Ephland
March 18, 2019
Read The Time Is Now Album Reviews
The Time Is Now
By David A. Orthmann
March 18, 2019
Read Road To The Sun Album Reviews
Road To The Sun
By Dan McClenaghan
March 18, 2019
Read Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs Album Reviews
Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs
By John Sharpe
March 18, 2019
Read Hyperuranion Album Reviews
By Dan McClenaghan
March 17, 2019
Read Nuevo Valso Album Reviews
Nuevo Valso
By Friedrich Kunzmann
March 17, 2019