(Clean Feed)

In “Radio song”, Mario Delgado (guitar), Carlos Barretto (double bass) and José Salgueiro (percussion) are joined by Louis Sclavis on clarinet, bass clarinet and soprano sax, if only for three tracks in which the French reedist’s creative brilliance literally shines. “Distresser”, based on odd-metred vamps, finds Sclavis and Delgado exploring unison complications and semi-dissonant phrasing; Salgueiro walks barefoot in a minefield of elegance with competence and authority. Sclavis lets it all go in a lyrically cutting solo, Barretto following with soft, tactile lines that go everywhere at first, then throw the whole quartet back into the main riff. “Nas Trevas” at first reminds of the most experimental Pat Metheny, but it soon bursts into rockish free-form and ebullient chit-chat between the members of the trio. “Searching” sees more repetitive angular guitar riffs flowing into post-bop, swinging harshness; echoes of early Bill Frisell are heard in Delgado’s volume pedal-tinged distorted shades. “Asa Celta” finds Sclavis spinning his elicoidal clarinet in oneiric atmospheres that mutate into an Eastern theme played in unison with Barretto; again, the solo section swings and rocks thanks to the interaction between Salgueiro and Delgado, but Sclavis keeps the whole “near transcendental”. “Espirito da Solidao” begins with Barretto in a meditative improvisation, then Delgado joins in, harmonizing with splendid arco melodies. “Luminae” is constructed on a slow bass vamp, the music creeping and barely moving until everyone finds a voice in a three-part march towards the sanctuary of 70′s jazz-rock. “Final Searching” is characterized by Delgado’s acid soloism, halfway through John McLaughlin circa Miles Davis/Tony Williams and Bill Connors’ hard fusion; Salgueiro accompanies these fractured elucubrations with extreme ease. A nice album that sounds like a homage to a not-so-distant past.

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