Hugo Carvalhais – Particula (CF 253)
Listeners might have been introduced to Portuguese bassist Hugo Carvalhais because his initial release on Clean Feed included the American saxophonist Tim Berne. After an absence of documented recordings Berne was heard on Michael Formanek’s The Rub And Spare Change (ECM, 2010), Bruno Chevillon’s Old And Inwise (Clean Feed, 2011) and Carvalhais’ Nebulosa (Clean Feed, 2010). But of those who came for Berne, most stayed tuned into the bassist’s sound. His second outing finds him in company of his trio of pianist Gabriel Pinto and drummer Mário Costa, plus violinist Dominique Pifarély and soprano saxophonist Emile Parisien.
Carvalhais chooses to pursue a very modern sound, distinct from straight melody and yet flowing with consequences. The quintet forms and reforms into quartets, trios, duos and solos. He seems much more concerned with the maintenance of theme than melodies. That said, Particula is bound together by a constant energy. On “Generator” it’s the lift-off of Parisien’s saxophone flight. “Capsule” finds the melding of synthesizer with violin and bits of controlled tumult. Carvalhais is a master of keeping open forms somehow fettered, harnessing freedom for his own purposes.