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O Exlio


O Exlio

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Joo Paulo: piano and composition
Peter Epstein: soprano and alto saxophones
Carlos Bica: bass

Since the spring of 1996, MA Recordings has been producing extraordinary projects in Lisbon, Portugal. The catalyst for all this activity has been the highly artistic initiative of pianist and composer Joo Paulo Esteves da Silva, one of the most interesting and complete musicians in Portugal today.

While Joo Paulo initially contacted MA in order to establish a relationship for the production and release of his own improvisation oriented music, the first MA project in which he was involved was Portuguese Guitarist, Ricardo Rocha's "Luz Destino" M039A on which Joo Paulo played Harpsichord. He also introduced Ricardo to the label who in turn introduced singer Maria Ana Bobone (also a central figure on Luz Destino). Besides the forementioned "Luz Destino", these 3 have also recently released Maria Ana Bobone's "Senhora da Lapa" M046A on which Joo Paulo plays piano on all tracks as well as composed some of the music.

Joo Paulo's "O Exilio" is his first release outside of Portugal. He has released only one album previous to this, "Serra Sem Fim" on the Portuguese Farol label. The music on "O Exilio" was sensitively performed by the drumless trio of Joo Paulo on Hamburg Steinway, Peter Epstein on soprano and alto saxophones and long time friend, Portuguese bassist, Carlos Bica on bass. All compositions except "Chama" were composed by Joo Paulo.

It is rather difficult to describe in words the music of Joo Paulo. One could say for sure that it is "New Portuguese Music" with traditional Portuguese influences, classical influences and perhaps above all, jazz influences, but not necessarily North American jazz influenced. This is definitely not "bebop" or "modern jazz" but a completely new, stunningly refreshing approach to creative, improvised music and the fact that it is coming from Portugal, is the most interesting.

"O Exilio" was recorded inside the Saint George British Anglican Church, (located inside the British cemetary!) in Lisboa during a three period in May, 1998. A beautiful Hamburg Steinway was moved into the church for this purpose. The sound of the church is perfect for this type of chamber jazz.


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