Tag Archives: Bruno Pedroso

Touching Extremes review by Massimo Ricci

ZÉ EDUARDO UNIT – A Jazzar: Live In Capuchos (CF 155)
Zé Eduardo is a lone wolf of sorts in the Portuguese music scene – it happens to everybody in the world who does not obey to the establishment’s rules, of course – and A Jazzar is a good representation of his non-compliant sense of humour and overall artistic cleverness. The enterprise’s chief, also a gifted double bassist, is aided by saxophonist Jesus Santandreu and drummer Bruno Pedroso, both partners endowed with adroitness and stylistic preparation perfect for all uses. On a first attempt, one feels like trapped within the spires of some conservative jazz station: everything sounds precise and articulated, soft-spoken tunes executed with an apparent lack of commitment. But it takes a minute to really pay attention, thus unearthing the refined irony underlying the leader’s intentions. What appears as mere formality is indeed just that, though spiced with dozens of twists and turns rendering the interplay less predictable and, consequently, more absorbing. The trio works its way through scientific modifications of diverse covers (folk songs, various soundtracks and the Simpsons theme, the latter signifying the lone item this writer was acquainted with) with the same type of perplexing detachment, a mood that perhaps hides a killer instinct which remains confined in the realm of our intuition.

Gapplegate Music review by Grego Edwards

Julio Resende’s Piano and Trio Shine Warmly On “You Taste Like A Song”

Portuguese pianist Julio Resende has a kind of poetic touch. His trio date You Taste Like A Song (CF 216) waxes that way. A reflective Silencio–For the Fado opens the album with a beautifully glowing balladic-free piece that seems full of saudade longing.

The trio has alternating bassists and drummers and they all do good yeoman’s service accompanying and abetting Julio’s improvisations, getting space of their own as well. The original pieces have something musical to grab onto virtually all the time and Resende plays like he means it.

There’s a hint of mid-period Jarrett in terms of brightness, but not enough to say that he is a disciple. It’s Julio’s own way that comes to the fore on the CD. The title cut is especially attractive, with a fairly up bossa-rock feel and a kind of luminescent chordal melodic progression that enchants the senses.

There are some effective acoustic funk-rock trio forays, more helpings of balladic charm, moments of Bley-like freedom and use of trio space, a little of the Guaraldi-Jarrett gospel chordings, and plenty of different feels to keep the soul in a zone that rubs on one’s musical concentration like Alladin on the magic lamp. And the CD closes with Monk’s “Straight No Chaser” in a very personal sort of version.

It’s another good one from Cleen Feed. It’s a very good one for Julio Resende. Modern piano trio nuts should find plenty to crack here.

All About Jazz Italy review by Vincenzo Roggero

Julio Resende Trio – You Taste Like a Song (CF 216)
Valutazione: 4 stelle
Trio da tener d’occhio quello del portoghese Julio Resende. Innanzitutto perché suona in maniera pazzesca e come un unico organismo pensante. I ruoli sono continuamente invertiti non come semplice divertissement ma come stimolante provocazione e sollecitazione delle dinamiche interne.
Il contrabbasso del formidabile Ole Morten Vagan funge spesso da traino melodico contrappuntandosi alle creazioni istantanee del pianista; in fase di sostegno ritmico gira alla larga da pattern accomodanti preferendo pulsazioni anomale e imprevedibili. La batteria di Joel Silva è poliedrica quanto basta, a tratti delicatissima tessitrice di trame quasi impalpabili a volte elastica dispensatrice di grooves sanguigni e trascinanti.

E il piano di Resende? Beh sembra aver assorbito e rielaborato in maniera assolutamente originale l’asse ereditario che parte dal Bill Evans, passa per lo Standard Trio di Keith Jarrett, fino ad arrivare a formazioni come Bad Plus, Esbjorn Svensson Trio e simili. Del primo ricorda l’empatia ed il perfetto senso di equilibrio, del secondo la capacità di essere a tal punto in comunione con classici senza tempo da trasformarli in altro, degli ultimi la sfrontatezza con la quale mischiano generi, rivestono di nobili architetture materiale pop ed hits commerciali, arricchiscono la tavolozza espressiva dei propri strumenti.

You Taste Like A Song gioca molto sulla forma canzone, ma con un approccio assai poco convenzionale, nel tentativo, riuscito, di trovare nella semplicità e linearità delle melodie il terreno ideale per una ricerca profonda sull’essere umano, sulle sue emozioni, sui più intimi sentimenti. Il tutto associando una estrema gradevolezza d’ascolto ad un senso di esplorazione e di ricerca che toglie la musica da ogni rischio di vacuità e di superficialità.

“Silencio-for the Fado,” per esempio, suona come un notturno di Chopin ma il contrabbasso archettato di Ole Mortan Vagan evoca la viola di John Cale e conferisce un alone sottilmente inquietante all’esecuzione. “Improvisacao (call it whatever)” è una deliziosa dimostrazione di come anche la libera improvvisazione possa assumere le sembianze di una canzone sollecitando nell’ascoltatore la più fervida immaginazione. Mentre nell’unica composizione non originale, la celebre “Straight No Chaser,” una volta tanto il pianoforte si defila lasciando il proscenio a percussioni contrabbasso che si inventano trame e sonorità sorprendenti.
Da non perdere.

JazzWrap review by Vern

Julio Resende – You Taste Like A Song (CF 216)
This is an album I fell in love with after the first listen. Classically trained but quickly inspired by jazz at a young age, Portugese pianist Julio Resende is becoming a very important star on the scene. He has trained and performed in Portugal, Spain, France and the U.S. in addition to receiving great accolades in his home country. Resende’s style has been described as somewhere between Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans. He has the playful adventurousness of Evans, and intricacies of Jarrett but Resende has also quickly developed an innovative voice over just the short span of three records as leader.

His latest, You Taste Like A Song, is a piece of sheer brilliance. It’s a trio session with members he’s performed with on his previous albums – this time featuring two sets of trio on selected tracks. Opening strong with the melodic ballad, “Silenciso-For The Fado”, Resende shows his classical skills have not drifted into the background. His playing is beautiful and his bandmates improvise between the lines creating a very atmospheric nature to the piece. The titled track is upbeat in a more Northern European pattern but you can feel Resende’s youthful rock influences (which later come out on an interesting version of Radiohead’s “Airbag”) as the group touches off a cascade of rhythms and beats that might leave you toe-tapping by the end.

“Improvisacao (Call It Whatever)” charges through with imagination and a clear sense of unity. Each member has some stellar improvised moments in addition to some terrific dual interaction and solo pieces (especially Vagan). “Improvisacao” shows the growth of Resende on the creative front. I felt like I was listening Jason Moran or Kris Davis at certain points. Resende really delivers with an astounding version of Thelonious Monk’s “Straight No Chaser,” Led by some unique drumming from Silva. A muffled effect on the drums gives them a distance and depth that is haunting. Resende’s performance is sublime. It’s not the usual keys you’d expect for a cover of Monk’s material and that makes it a huge standout for me. Exquisite stuff from the young pianist.

You Taste Like A Song could be the album that sees Julio Resende arrive on the global radar for many jazz fans this year. It’s well balanced and he demonstrates a creativity and enjoyment that you might not hear all year. I’ve discussed a lot of pianists over the last month. Not sure how that happened, but anyway… Julio Resende is one that I believe if you need something different in your jazz catalogue right now, You Taste Like A Song is the album to purchase. Highly Recommended.

Time Out Lisboa review by Jose Carlos Fernandes

Júlio Resende – You Taste Like a Song (CF 216) *****
Da Alma prometia, Assim Falava Jazzatustra mostrava que as promessas não tinham sido vãs e o terceiro disco confirma a entrada do pianista Júlio Resende no Conselho Superior do Jazz. E “jazz” não vai aqui acompanhado do adjectivo restritivo “nacional” porque este CD está à altura do que de melhor se faz pelo vasto mundo.

O quarteto passou a trio – de Jazzatustra ficaram o contrabaixista norueguês Ole Morten Vagan e o baterista Joel Silva – e não se perdeu nada com isso. Pelo contrário, o entrosamento dos músicos aumentou e a música ganhou em identidade.

“Silêncio: For the Fado” começa com o contraste entre as ruminações inquietas de contrabaixo e o discurso tranquilo e límpido do piano e desabrocha num lirismo luminoso. Já “Hip-Hop Du-Bop” tem ritmo hip-hop anguloso e um piano a fazer de MC neurótico. “Airbag”, dos Radiohead, uma canção de extraordinária tensão e densidade, é reinventada como hino sereno e de claro recorte melódico, e a convencional “Who Did You Think I Was”, de John Mayer, ganha segunda vida impelida por ritmo dançarino e acentuações inesperadas. Mesmo quando toma um jazz standard, como é o caso de “Straight No Chaser”, o trio faz questão de o reconstruir em profundidade. Mas talvez a melhor porta de entrada seja o tema-título e “Um Pouco Mais de Azul”, com as suas melodias singelas repetidas obsessivamente, que ganham ímpeto e intensidade a cada nova volta (o espírito de Esbjörn Svensson paira por aqui) e deixarão inebriado o mais sorumbático ouvinte.

All Music Guide review by Michael G. Nastos

Júlio Resende – Assim Falava Jazzatustra (CF 158)
Contemporary jazz pianist Julio Resende is dedicated to not only extending the tradition of jazz, but making it in his own inimitable way. Blessed with overwhelming technique and a good concept beyond where the canon of jazz should go, Resende and his European quartet play original music that stretches N.Y.C. neo-bop with a continental flair, using minimalist and repeat phrases that set up an unfettered realm of improvisation. Alto saxophonist Perico Sambeat — like Resende — is a unique performer with no discerible influences, while bassist Ole Morten Vågan and drummer Joel Silva are well-rehearsed, more than merely keeping up with the busy or refined nuances of the leaders. Excepting a single studio track, this disc was recorded during live performance in Lisbon, Portugal at the Fabrica Braco de Prata, where they know how to jam out and uplift a crowd. The opener “Don’t” is an ultimate tone setter, mixing hip funk and shuffle rhythms as Sambeat offers simple, one-note phrases that gradually expand, leading to spirit soul from Resende during his solo, and a bassline moving well past ostinato. The 13-minute “Sakatwala” dances in kinetic beats of eight, bouncy and happy with a South African flavor, while a heavier Bad Plus image for “Boom!” stomps it down like a nice llittle monster. A frantic, supercharged bop, “Jazz Pt” stretches spiky melody lines into an Eric Dolphy-type overtone display, while Sambeat’s chunky alto perseveres alongside the addition of the playful tenor sax of guest Desiderio Lázaro on the long, solo-laden “Caixa Registadora.” Resende does a beautifully extrapolated, exuberant solo take of Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond,” while the in-studio selection “Ir e Voltar” is a strange yet exquisite cross of cascading 5/4 piano against a juxtaposed rock beat with João Custodio’s bassline and Manuela Azevedo’s gothic vocals. This recording is a fine example of how European jazz musicians have taken cues from their American counterparts, and have upped the ante to a point where they are the ones making fresh sounds and unique statements, while many U.S. musicians linger stubbornly on tradition. Make no mistake, Resende and his band have got it goin’ on.

Time Out Lisboa review by José Carlos Fernandes

Zé Eduardo Unit – Live in Capuchos (CF 155) ***
Nos últimos anos, o jazz foi ganhando a reputação de ser capaz de digerir tudo o que se atire para sua bocarra. Mas a máquina da Zé Eduardo Unit engasga-se com os monos a que deitou o dente: os temas da “Abelha Maia”, “Dartacão”, “Noddy” e “The Simpsons” são rotundas inanidades que até a potente mistura de ácido e sarcasmo dos Naked City ou dos Bad Plus teria dificuldade em atacar.
A voga pós-modernaça da apropriação de tudo o que é piroso e trivial conduz frequentemente a estes equívocos, supostamente hilariantes. Como os bons momentos (fragmentados e desconexos) do CD pouco têm a ver com a matéria-prima “cartoonesca”, fica a aguardar-se que Zé Eduardo, Jesus Santandreu e Bruno Pedroso apliquem o seu talento a objectos mais interessantes.