Music Reviews

Artist: Bande À Part (@)
Title: Caixa-Prego
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
This release by Portuguese trio Bande à Part - I'm not sure if they named their trio after the well-known movie by Jean-Luc Godard, one of the milestones of Nouvelle Vague including the famous dance scene by Anna Karina over Michel Legrand's music - is another relatively old entry from the pile of records by Ernesto Rodrigues' imprint Creative Sources that deserves attention. The most interesting aspect of their sessions is the total lack of a real leading instrument as well as an absolute simplicity: a simple melodic or sometimes just tonal phrase is the sparkling element of each session, it defines a sort of emotional framework that sounds like a rickety ladder joining two contrasting moods, the other instruments and wisely grasped resounding objects and percussive elements by Carlos Godinho acts like a light make-up. The more lengthy suite, the elegant central piece "Chapa 3" (Chapa is Portuguese for "plate", not slang Spanish for...well, many of you should guess) shows how they can gradually interchange rules (pay attention to the interesting interaction between Joana Guerra's cello and Ricardo' Ribeiro's soprano and bass clarinets) in the same piece, a sort of bipolar attraction where they play on harmonies like they got stuck a rubber band, which got continuously expanded and contracted. The percussions as mentioned earlier and objects by Godinho mainly sound like enzymes of this interactions, but there are tracks ("Chapa 2" and "Chapa 4") where their eruptions become prominent. Another highlight is the fuzzy final track "Chapa 5", sounding like an entirely drunk version of some stuff by King Curtis or Lalo Schifrin. Amazing stuff.

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