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.

Gapplegate Music review by Greco Edwards

CF 155Zé Eduardo Unit – A Jazzar – Live in Capuchos (CF 155)
Ze Eduardo has been a central figure on the Portuguese Jazz scene since the ‘70s. He plies a strong acoustic bass and plays a leading role in his current trio. There’s a new recording on Clean Feed, “Ze Eduardo Unit Live in Capuchos.” Here Mr. Eduardo is joined by tenor saxophonist Jesus Santandreu and drummer Bruno Pedreso for a lively set. Once they clear out the cobwebs and get into some dynamic grooves, it becomes obvious that they are well attuned to one another and can work within various self-imposed parameters to create solid Post-Bop-Freebop Jazz with alternating density and spareness. When they get into a forward moving routine, they sound much fuller than the trio setting would suggest. That is in great part due to the rhythm team’s strongly felicitous interactions. Eduardo has strength of purpose and Pedroso builds upon that in ways that get the musical juices flowing.

Jesus Santandreau plays the soloist role with equal strength. He firmly entrenches himself in lithely moving idiomatic Post-Bop phrasing without quoting other players. He quotes himself. It seems to me that this would be a good starting CD for someone who wishes to explore what’s going on in Portugal. It’s quite engaging, once they get warmed up. And the group groove is hard to resist.

All About Jazz review by Mark Corroto

Clean Feed Records eat the plate 
Clean Feed records, founded in 2001, has been the most prolific and adventurous label for jazz this new century. Based in Lisbon, Portugal their offerings have included many of jazz’s old guard including reed players Evan Parker, Paul Dunmall, Charles Gayle, Vinny Golia and Anthony Braxton and trumpeters Dennis Gonzalez and Herb Robertson, along with current innovators bassist Joe Morris and reed players Ken Vandermark, Rudresh Mahanthappa and Tony Malaby, to name just a few.

Clean Feed’s reach seemingly has no bounds, featuring the greatest players alongside new names in jazz. As with the Blue Note or Impulse! jazz labels of the 1960s, listeners can be assured a consistent presentation of high quality music no matter if the name on the album cover is familiar or not.

CF 150Marty Ehrlich Rites Quartet – Things Have Got To Change (CF 150)
Saxophonist Marty Ehrlich has been a mainstay of the New York jazz scene for decades. He founded the Dark Woods Ensemble and has recorded with everyone from pianist Andrew Hill to saxophonists John Zorn and Ehrlich’s hero, saxophonist Julius Hemphill. Of late, he has been producing long thematic works. This quartet session is a bit of a change, a variety of shorter pieces that delight the ears with crisp solos and swinging interplay.

The cast includes familiar and distinctive players negotiating five tracks by Ehrlich and three from Hemphill. Hemphill’s compositions are joyfully produced, with the semi-classic “Dogon A.D.” acting as the anchor here. The band, solidified behind drummer Pheeroan AkLaff who negotiates the bluesy piece as a bouncy vehicle for each solo. Ehlrich’s coughing alto aligns with Eric Friedlander’s cello in syncopation to the beats. Elsewhere, the cello offers that slightly different (from a bass) feel on the track “On The One,” that makes this music feel as if it has a mind to be a chamber ensemble, but with the recklessness of a nightclub band. Maybe it is the untamed trumpet work of James Zollar that keeps the music real. This is one of those special recordings that begs for more.

CF 151Samuel Blaser – Pieces Of The Old Sky (CF 151)
Swiss-born, New York-trained Berlin resident trombonist Samuel Blaser begins his Clean Feed debut with a 17-minute meditation by his quartet of Todd Neufeld (guitar), Thomas Morgan (bass) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums). The dreamlike and ponderous pace acts as a slow motion series of features for brooding trombone and guitar. Likewise, “Madala” stirs emotions by way of its deliberateness and pace-building for tension. Sorey is the suitable choice for the drum seat. He has developed a knack for playing that is beyond jazz, using his kit as a frontline player. Both “Red Hook” and “Speed Game” up the ante, elevating the pace and forcing a bit more tension into the music. Blaser responds with shorter thoughts and tighter solos, but those flowing notes remain.

CF 157Harris Eisenstadt – Canada Day (CF 157)
Canadian-born drummer Harris Eisenstadt is quickly becoming known as a modern jazz composer/arranger to watch. His work is thoroughly modern, with elements of West African drumming. His music is reminiscent of the innovations saxophonist Wayne Shorter was introducing in the 1960s on Blue Note. His Quintet Canada Day concentrates on group improvisation, forwarding the individual sounds of saxophonist Matt Bauder, vibraphonist Chris Dingman, trumpeter Nate Wooley and bassist Eivind Opsvik to bear on these eight compositions.

The quintet negotiates the drummer’s penchant to change time and rhythmic patterns within a song while maintaining the groove. “Everyday Is Canada Day” begins with dreamy vibes before the band enters, building the song from a simple platform. Wooley’s trumpet solo bumps against the vibes with its temerity and coarseness. Eisenstadt is blending sounds here to great effect, as he does on “After An Outdoor Bath.” He never seems to forget the pleasures of listening when he is making music.

CF 159Nobuyasu Furuya – Bendowa (CF 159)
Lisbon-based saxophonist Nobuyasu Furuya takes a walk around with the saxophone masters of energy jazz: Peter Brotzmann, Frank Lowe and Roscoe Mitchell. Bendowa might have been mistaken for an early AACM recording. The Japanese-born reedsman and flutist plays here in a Portuguese trio with Gabriel Ferrandini (drums) and Hernani Faustino (bass). While the music pushes the outer edge, it never breaks down into a noise-fest. The steady groove of Ferrandini and Faustino allow for Furuya to apply his craft. His tenor on “Track 1” splats big strokes of paint all over the canvas, while “Track 2” finds him playing more traditional sounds (Japanese?) on his flute. The aggressive bass clarinet notes heard on “Track 5” float and dive into the rolling maelstrom of bass and drum animation. This is free jazz, coming from a classically trained reedsman. Maybe this new “new thing” music is the best thing to come from globalization.

CF 155Ze Eduardo Unit – Jazz Ar: Live At Capuchos (CF 155)
A mover and shaker in the Portuguese jazz scene for decades, the bassist Ze Eduardo would be comfortable playing with Han Bennink and the ICP Orchestra, Roy Nathanson’s Jazz Passengers or Steven Bernstein’s Millennium Orchestra. His brand of jazz doesn’t skip humor as an element of the music, and the audience responds affirmatively on this October 2008 live date. His trio, or unit, is composed of tenor saxophonist Jesus Santandreu and drummer Bruno Perdroso, both heard on the previous release A Jazzar no Zeca: A Musica de Jose Afonso (Clean Feed, 2004).

Don’t get the wrong impression, this is serious music making. The band just loves what they do. Their take on “The Simpsons” theme is in no way camp. The band lays down a solid groove, phrasing the familiar cartoon theme here as they do with other cartoons characters here. Their “serious” music includes the coughing interludes on “Abelha Maia” that never miss a beat between bits and pieces of “Santa Lucia.” This agreeable recording is music making at the highest level, it just happens to be very jocular.

CF 156Pinton / Kullhammar / Zetterberg / Nordstrom – Chant (CF 156)
From Sweden comes a quartet of improvisors that were assembled for a series of concerts and this recording. All four have played together in various ensembles, but this combination, a “power” ensemble, displays a tenacity that yields special results. The musicians are saxophonists Alberto Pinton and Jonas Kullhammar, bassist Torbjörn Zetterberg and drummer Kjell Nordeson. The piano-less quartet effects a harmonious sound from the baritone and tenor combination on the majority of tracks. Pinton and Kullhammar make this a friendly competition for space and solos, exercising sonic demons on “Chantpagne,” as the timekeepers Zetterberg and Nordeson keep the pulse and intensity level quite high. The possibilities for this music are boundless. The pliant dueling baritones march to “Den Stora Vantan” while all the music making is done by the drummer.

The obvious homage here, “Cross/For Bluiett,” has saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett’s outward jazz vision in mind as it sails a chamber blues into the audience’s ears. The band ends with “Mount Everest,” a direct reference to the Swedish free jazz band of the same name whose passion for saxophonists Albert Ayler and Ornette Coleman are shared by our heroes. The wow-factor is increased with every track heard on this excellent disc.

CF 158Julio Resende – Assim Falava Jazzatustra (CF 158)
The unforgettable pianist Julio Resende performs this live set in Lisbon with his band and a few special guests. Assim Falava Jazzatustra follows his 2007 release Da Alma (Clean Feed). Here he summons a quartet with the notable Spanish saxophonist Perico Sambeat and the most excellent Swedish bassist Ole Morten Vagan. The music is a blend of rhythmic and percussive jazz that is instantly agreeable. Resende’s piano can at times give off the Cuban vibe, as on “Perico Sambeat,” or a classical sound, as on “Ir F Voltar.” On the latter track the band is joined by vocalist Manuela Azevedo from the pop band Cla. The band’s rocked-out take on “Boom!” finds Resende’s piano ringing bell-like throughout. He plies the keyboard with such a predatory feel here. In contrast, his cover of the Pink Floyd song “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” is elegant and sanguine as he negotiates the nostalgic piece. Worth the price of admission to that concert, his rendering of that classic song is priceless.

CF 152Charles Rumback – Two Kinds Of Art Thieves (CF 152)
Chicago drummer Charles Rumback leads a quartet of like minded musicians on a very introspective album. Rumback is a member of bands varying from post-rock to electronica, including Colorlist, The Horse’s Ha and Fred Lonberg-Holm’s Lightbox Orchestra. Here he employs bassist Jason Ajemian (Dragons 1976, Rob Mazurek, Bill Dixon), tenor saxophonist Greg Ward (Mike Reed’s Loose Assembly, People Places & Things) and alto saxophonist Joshua Sclar (Westport Art Ensemble). The music is characterised by paced, even-keeled, small gestures of sound. Often Rumback is playing quiet fingers on his drums while the saxophonists whisper notes in exchanges that are more late-night conversation than trading fours. The music, thoroughly composed, prefers to make its case with quiet gesticulation and soft melody. The slightest sound makes a large impact here. An impressive debut.

CF 154Weightless – A Brush With Dignity (CF 154)
These live dates from October 2008 in Germany mark the coming together of UK artistsJohn Butcher (saxophones) and John Edwards (bass) and Italians Alberto Braida (piano) and Fabrizio Spera (drums). All four had played together in varying combinations before, but the Weightless tour of Italy and Germany was their first as a complete unit. The natural combination of saxophone, piano, bass and drums gives listeners an accustomed lineup, but the music making (as you might not be surprised) is far from traditional.

The disc opens with “Apre,” a stellar piece of energy jazz that builds momentum as the players trade off duos and solos. What is remarkable here is the distribution of sound. A mark of seasoned players, the music is never crowded: all parts are distinctive and can be set apart in listener’s ears. Quite the feat for instantly composed music. The remaining tracks settle into an agreeable sense of interplay. Butcher is more inclined towards his extended techniques and the others follow suit. As with all free music, different parts are compelling for different listeners. The live (in concert) experience is quite unlike that of the recorded listen. That said this is a fine recorded listening experience.

Sound + Vision review by João Lopes

CF 155Zé Eduardo Unit – Live in Capuchos (CF 155)
Atenção, fundamentalistas de todos os quadrantes… sugere-se que se mantenham prudentemente à distância deste disco: Zé Eduardo Unit Live in Capuchos é mais um testemunho exemplar do trabalho da editora Clean Feed, por um lado divulgando singulares experiências do jazz (português e além fronteiras), por outro lado rasgando caminhos inesperados e sedutores para (re)pensarmos uma cultura musical feita de muitas contaminações e ousadias.
Trata-se de um trabalho que retoma premissas já aplicadas em A Jazzar no Cinema Português (edição do Cineclube de Faro) e A Jazzar no Zeca (Clean Feed). Zé Eduardo (baixo), Jesus Santandreu (saxofone) e Bruno Pedroso (bateria) arriscam, aqui, uma velha e deliciosa perversidade: a de fazer jazz a partir de temas da cultura popular, desde Cantiga da Rua (do filme O Costa do Castelo, realizado por Arthur Duarte em 1949) até Balada da Rita (Sérgio Godinho), passando por Grândola, Vila Morena (José Afonso). Não esquecendo as preciosidades da cultura televisiva, o álbum apresenta-nos ainda versões hard bop dos temas de Abelha Maia, Dartacão, Noddy e Os Simpsons — será que devemos colocar nos dicionários a expressão hard pop?