João Paulo: piano
this is a 96 kHz recording
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 João Paulo Esteves da Silva, one of the most interesting and complete
musicians in Portugal today.
While João 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
João 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
João Paulo plays piano on all tracks as well as composed some of the music.
João 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 João
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 João Paulo.
It is rather difficult to describe in
words the music of João 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.