Gabriel Ferrandini: Volúpias

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Gabriel Ferrandini: Volúpias
Portuguese drummer Gabriel Ferrandini seeks out a different path on Volúpias. He puts aside the bustling asymmetric momentum, familiar from his tenure in the celebrated RED Trio and with saxophonist Rodrigo Amado's Motion Trio, to explore compositional realms. In 2016 he started his new approach with an artistic residency in the prestigious ZDB venue, where he was joined by bassist Hernâni Faustino (from the Red Trio) and tenor saxophonist Pedro Sousa (his partner in the punning PeterGabriel duo). The result is a 39-minute album containing nine original pieces, two by fellow countryman electronic musician Ondness, the rest by Ferrandini, all titled after Lisbon streets.

Ferrandini remains a consummate percussionist, whether conjuring sudden squalls from thrillingly unexpected timbres or less often laying down a non-repeating pulse. Sousa, whose capabilities can be heard to the full on Casa Futuro (Clean Feed, 2015) largely exercises restraint, exhaling concise phrases in the lowest registers of his horn, while Faustino anchors with muscular counterpoint. They all combine in a group music which allows relatively few solo opportunities. Instead the focus is mainly on the compositions, or perhaps concepts would be a better way of putting it, as any melodic content is sketched to the point of abstraction.

Most of the cuts are slow-paced and quite short, sounding atmospheric and spacious, mining a narrow emotional seam, featuring breathy saxophone and intermittent spurts of pizzicato bass and percussion. At best as on "Rua Nova da Piedade," they smolder then briefly flare before subsiding once again. Only three cuts weigh in much over four minutes and they are among the highlights. On "Rua João Pereira da Rosa" spirited interchanges between bass and tenor slowly develop over an unfurling percussive carpet. Then on "Travessa dos Fiéis de Deus" Sousa recalls Evan Parker with his multiphonics, a comparison that comes even more strongly to mind due to his circular-breathed high note stretches on the concluding "Rua da Barroca." At ten minutes it's the longest and most fully realized track, suggesting the rich drama the group might generate if stretching out further.

Track Listing

Rua Nova da Piedade; Travessa de São José; Rua de São Marçal; Rua da Academia das Ciências; Rua de O Século; Rua João Pereira da Rosa; Rua dos Caetanos; Travessa dos Fiéis de Deus; Rua da Barroca.


Gabriel Ferrandini: drums and percussion; Hernâni Faustino: double bass; Pedro Sousa: tenor saxophone.

Album information

Title: Volúpias | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records

Post a comment about this album


Shop Amazon


A Centering Peace
Brian Woodruff Sextet
Five Down Blues
Kyle Asche Organ trio
Long Tall Sunshine
Barry Altschul's 3Dom Factor
Wonderful World
Chris Standring
Tomas Liska & Invisible World


All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.