This young Portuguese jazz trio date led by bassist Ze’ Eduardo, looms as one of the true modern jazz surprises of 2004. And while Eduardo nestles in rather tightly with drummer Bruno Pedroso, this release signifies a high-powered affair where everyone receives equal footing. The music is built upon a swiftly executed game-plan consisting of odd-metered (three-way) unison lines, rapid shifts in momentum and variable rhythmic flows. With that, the group covers bop, swing and free-jazz amid hints of rock music and shades of the Caribbean. Tenor saxophonist Jesus Santandreu is a strong front-man, primarily due to an agile delivery, coupled with forceful statements and fluid lines. Essentially, surprises are plentiful here, yet there’s not a trace of anything that might suggest reckless abandon or random tinkering. As they run a tight ship amid loose grooves and soaring thematic statements.
The trio navigates tricky time changes. But the musicians also infuse generous doses of soul and passion into the grand scheme of things. These compositions, sans one improvised work by the leader, were penned by Jose Afonso: Someone, this writer is not at all familiar with. Consequently, Mr. Afonso’s works feature lyrically charged themes, brimming with memorable hooks. Vision, insightful execution and strong writing supply the winning formula during this scorching program, topped off with thrills a minute. (Zealously recommended.... )