Tag Archives: Zé Eduardo

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.

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.

Jazz Portugal “Best of 2009” list by José Duarte

Riff 41
2009 www.jazzportugal.ua.pt
cds de fora:
* ‘Metamorphosen’ – Branford Marsalis
* ‘Spiritual dimensions’ – Wadado Leo Smith
* ‘Compass’ – Joshua Redman
* ‘Mostly Coltrane’ – Steve Kuhn/Joe Lovano
* ‘Testament’ – Keith Jarrett
cds de dentro:
* ‘Assim falava Jazzatustra’ – Júlio Resende
* ‘Zé Eduardo Unit – Live in Capuchos’ – Zé Eduardo

* ‘Big Band Nazaré III’ – Adelino Mota
* ‘White works’ – João Paulo
* ‘Alba’ – Alexandre Diniz
cds reedições
* Thelonious Monk – Monk
* Miles Davis/Sonny Rollins – The Classic Prestige Sessions 1951-1956
* Billie Holiday – The Complete Commodore & Decca Masters
* Ella Fitzgerald – Twelve Nights in Hollywood
* Oscar Peterson – Debut: The Clef / Mercury Duo Recordings 
* David Murray 4teto – Faro
* Branford Marsalis 4teto – Guimarães
* Hank Jones trio – Lisboa
* Joshua Redman trio – Cascais
* Mingus Dinasty – Estoril
* Miguel Sanchez 4teto – Carnaxide
* Peter Brotzmann/Joe McPhee – Capuchos
* Clean Feed
* Cuneiform Records
músico de fora
* David Murray
músico de dentro
* Desidério Lázaro

Improvisos ao Sul “Best of 2009” list by António Branco Part II


Zé Eduardo Unit – “A Jazzar Live in Capuchos” (CF 155)
Amado/Kessler/Nilssen-Love – “The Abstract Truth” (European Echoes)
João Paulo – “White Works” (Emarcy/Universal)
Mikado Lab – “Coração Pneumático” (Ed. Autor)
João Paulo/Dennis González – “Scapegrace” (CF 144)

Paris Transatlantic review by Clifford Allen

Zé Eduardo Unit –  A Jazzar – Live in Capuchos (CF 155)
The trio of bassist-composer Zé Eduardo, drummer Bruno Pedroso and powerhouse tenorman Jesús Santandreu has been active on the Iberian scene for the better part of a decade, primarily as a vehicle for the leader’s arrangements of folk and popular song into open improvisational settings. Their Clean Feed debut, A Jazzar no Zeca (2002), was a setting of the anti-fascist songs of José Afonso; other recordings have focused on Portuguese cinema, and Live in Capuchos retains the cinematic tradition by including themes from cartoons The Simpsons and Noddy. I’ll confess a slight gag reflex was triggered by seeing Danny Elfman’s tune in the setlist, but it’s rendered barely recognizable across the track’s seven minutes, Santandreu digging into his Newk/Trane roots in a rollicking solo over a jolly, pliant bounce. There’s a shade of Rollins’ “I’m an Old Cowhand” here, and in fact the tongue-in-cheek trotting-out of a fairly insipid recent popular song is something Eduardo has in common with Rollins and Rahsaan Roland Kirk.
“Grandola” opens with a weighty plod before bass and tenor soar in delicate interplay; Eduardo’s bass takes a more central role than on previous dates, exhibiting affection for high-pitched pizzicato strumming, effortlessly shifting from fluttering abstraction to supple, folksy lilt. Pedroso, a longtime fixture on the Lisbon scene and a highly in-demand drummer, dissects marches into stabbing freedom, yet carries a loose backbeat just as easily. Thirty-odd years ago, a player cobbling together mainstream and free-jazz tenor influences wouldn’t have been something particularly interesting, but somehow the honesty of Santandreu’s approach is refreshing – especially because he’s not a technical showman but a compellingly virile student of the music. His sand-blasted honks and blats in “Dartacão,” coupled with fleet fingering and wide leaps, are an exciting reminder of what solid modern-jazz tenor playing is all about. Eduardo coined the verb “jazzar” to define what his group does – to make jazz, make immediate the legacy of popular and folk song, translating even the hokiest numbers into personal artworks. Live in Capuchos is a fine example of the Zé Eduardo Unit at work.–

Free Jazz review by Stef

Zé Eduardo Unit – Live In Capuchos (CF 155)
Light-footed modern and free jazz by this excellent Portuguese trio, led by bassist Ze Eduardo, with Jesus Santandreu on tenor saxophone and Bruno Pedroso on drums. The compositions are very varied, full of creative twists and turns, but then they get unraveled to their essential core, improvised upon in the best free sense, and falling back to its more structured form. Sensitive playing and quite accessible.

Tomajazz review by Pachi Tapiz

Zé Eduardo Unit – A Jazzar – Live In Capuchos (CF 155)
Aunque se agradece el intento y la simpatía del contrabajista Zé Eduardo de llevar en Live In Capuchos al terreno del jazz la música de algunas series de dibujos animados como Los Simpson, La abeja Maya, Dartacan y los tres mosqueperros o Noddy, junto con temas tan importantes en Portugal como el mítico “Grândola Vila Morena”, la propuesta no termina de cuajar. Aunque la formación es de lujo, le acompañan ni más ni menos que el saxofonista Jesús Santandreu y el batería Bruno Pedroso, los tres músicos dan la impresión durante demasiados momentos de estar más pendientes de que la música no se aleje demasiado de unas melodías más que reconocibles y de los arreglos (que en algunos casos suenan un tanto forzados), que de respirar y dejar que la música crezca, se expanda y se desarrolle. Y aunque no hay nada que objetar, que conste, acerca de los tres músicos y su tremenda capacidad como instrumentistas, la escucha del CD deja la impresión de que la grabación podía haber sido mucho mejor.