João Pedro, Silvia, Adriano: three friends, three travel companions, three alchemists capable of giving infinite shades of color to music; listening to them is like enjoying the beauty of an exhibition of abstract paintings, yet full of warmth and sensitivity.
A far cry from certain forms of art that are undoubtedly important, perhaps even necessary, but that creep into the darker side of emotions and life: in this case we are in that expressive sphere, so difficult to navigate, which is radical improvisation in its „chamber” form.
A journey in seven stages, where brevity encompasses a perfection that does not require extended timespans to express itself, each enclosed between a „prelude” and an „epilogue”, with an „interlude” providing a brief rest before entering the foggy land.
I know all three of these artists personally; I know their smiles and their creativity, and though the opportunities to meet – for many reasons that do not need to be specified here – are rare, this is precisely what makes them even more precious. And this rendezvous too is precious: listening to their music is like receiving a gift from these friends, it is almost like talking with them through time and space.
In these instant compositions – and compositions they are, not randomly put together notes – it is easy to trace each one’s specific sensitivity and formidable technical mastery, and it is from their fusion that magic is born.
But that’s not all. Two guests make the party even richer: and the presence of the violin and cello evokes times when, during an effervescent and creative musical season that is far too marginalized today, we saw extraordinary string players, such as Leroy Jenkins and Abdul Wadud, appear among trumpets, trombones and saxophones (and Perry Robinson’s clarinet) capable of broadening the expressive horizons of their instruments.
Carlos Zingaro and Helena Espvall have different backgrounds from their Afro-American colleagues, they express themselves differently, yet they share the ability to dive fearlessly into “unknown lands’’ and discover new and great magnificence; Carlos Zingaro is a living legend of European music, which – and it is no coincidence – includes a number of extraordinary violinists who have ventured down the difficult path of pure improvisation. I am thinking, for example, of Matthias Boss from Switzerland, who has played extraordinary pieces with Carlos, such as „The Passing Lisboa Tram” duo in 2013.
I discovered Helena Espvall listening to this record and I will now gladly be obliged to browse her accomplishments, given the skill with which she has entered into this dialogue; a dialogue, I repeat, that is complex and difficult to sustain at such a high level: Steve Lacy said that improvising in five is a risk that borders on entropy and that to pass this test requires not only great technical skill, but also a rare sensitivity and an even rarer ability to listen and, when necessary, to keep quiet.
I too will now keep quiet and go and listen once again to this wonderful music.
Roberto Del Piano