Saturday, July 5, 2014

Luis Vicente/Rodrigo Pinheiro/Hernani Faustino/Marco Franco - Clocks and Clouds

Luis Vicente/Rodrigo Pinheiro/Hernani Faustino/Marco Franco
Clocks and Clouds

Luis Vicente – Trumpet
Rodrigo Pinheiro – Piano
Hernani Faustino – Bass
Marco Franco - Drums

On Clocks and Clouds, Portuguese trumpeter Luis Vicente is joined by two-thirds of the RED Trio, pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro and bassist Hernani Faustino. Marco Franco, who started out drumming in metal bands, takes the place of Gabriel Ferrandini.

Clocks and Clouds refers to Ligeti’s composition of the same name, which itself was a reference to philosopher Karl Raimund Popper’s essay “On Clocks and Clouds.” Popper wrote of natural processes that can be measured exactly (“Clocks”) and those that are indefinite and can only be described in approximation (“Clouds”).

Based on my limited experience with the RED Trio’s music, I thought Clocks and Clouds was going to be a minimal, lower-case affair. Boy was I wrong, but gladly so, because this is a free improv record that has some muscle. 

Vincente does a nice job expressing himself through both traditional and extended techniques, with the open horn and with a mute. Pinheiro sounds like two piano players at times, exploring the extremes of both the lower and upper registers of his instrument. The RED Trio is a group that’s never really clicked for me for some reason, but with Franco in the driver’s seat things really take flight. The whole group engages in lightening quick reactions to each other, and sounds animated and more assertive than I expected. Now I need to go back and reassess RED Trio’s catalog, especially their recording with Nate Wooley, Stem.

Based on Popper’s definitions, Clocks and Clouds is probably more “Clouds”, an indefinite, in-the-moment process, but the structures the group creates in the moment work. If you’re looking for free improv that’s not afraid to get boisterous at the proper times, Clouds and Clouds is for you.

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