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João Pedro Brandão & Coreto: analog

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Coreto: analog
Photograph by Carlos Azevedo
There are many beautiful layers to the music of João Pedro Brandão and each is meticulously crafted onto each other as if in the preparation of a really extravagant patisserie revolving interminably as if on some regal, intricately bejeweled taffeta-laced platter. And every once and a while something glitters, often shocking in its dissonance, and catches the eye magically, when you least expect it, just as it does in the near-cacophony of the so-appropriately entitled “Analog III – Not Sweet Enough”. But even here, as brass and woodwinds get quarrelsome and resolution is left to the drums, chattering almost at right angles to the melody, making asymmetrically rhythmic waves with a propulsive contrabass.

It is at times like these that the music of João Pedro Brandão and Coreto is best showcased in all its maddening and impossible knottiness. And somehow the melodically illogical and harmonic salves work out as if by magic even as the proverbial oil is thrown into a flaming orchestral pit where the alto saxophone is wailing against the keening trumpets of Ricardo Formosa and the intrepid Susana Santos Silva; where the grizzled trombones of Andreia Santos and Daniel Dias are locked in a titanic struggle to wrest the melodic initiative from parabolic course that seems inevitable in the path to the dénouement from “Analog IV – Radio”.

This is a masterfully-crafted long work in six parts and it has been cleverly conceived and even more cannily unfolded – perhaps the reverse is true as we move from the macrocosm of a broadcast “Analog I – Sob Escuta” followed by a gut-wrenching pleas to “save our souls”. This “SOS” beacon comes from a proverbially marooned human community. This role is exquisitely played (in this case) by the musical community of the big band of João Pedro Brandão and Coreto. But here things get dramatic like in the iconic Stanley Kubrick film 2001 – A Space Odyssey and as the succeeding sections unfold we are treated to a return to the microcosmic basics ensconced in section 6 of the suite – “Analog Vi – Curto Circuit”.

The equivalent of course is the rebirth of humanity which we experience through the re-birth of this Jazz community “Analog VI – Curto Circuito” – the metaphoric closed circuit uncannily similar to the cinematic experience of the birth of space-child in Mr. Kubrick’s (2001… universe. The sensational – and in the case – of this very ironic music lies in the militaristic tattoo beaten out by José Marrucho’s drums summoning the band as if to war, before the crescendo – and ultimate calm of the music’s final resolution, but not before the blood-letting of the raucous ensemble sequences that brings this remarkable suite to a close.

Track list – 1: Analog I – Sob Escuta; 2: Analog II – SOS; 3: Analog III – Not Sweet Enough; 4: Analog IV – Radio; 5: Analog V – Transistor; 6: Analog VI – Curto-Circuito

Personnel – João Pedro Brandão: alto saxophone, flute, composition; José Pedro Coelho: tenor saxophone; Hugo Ciríaco: tenor saxophone; Rui Teixeira: baritone saxophone; Ricardo Formoso: trumpet; Susana Santos Silva: trumpet; Andreia Santos: trombone; Daniel Dias: trombone; AP: Guitar; Hugo Raro: piano; José Carlos Barbosa: contrabass; José Marrucho: drums

Released – 2017
Label – Carimbo Porta-Jazz
Runtime – 58:12

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