With a 20 year history, double bassist Carlos Bica's trio Azul with Frank Mobus and Jim Black have developed a romantic, lyrical style that balances unusual textures and agressive playing with melodic style in wonderfully natural ways, here in their 6th alluring album.
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Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF398CD
Squidco Product Code: 23815
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Fattoria Musica Studios, Osnabruck, Austria, April 24th-26th, 2016, by Hrolfur Vagnsson.
Jim Black-drums, percussion
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1. Mafalda 6:13
2. A La E A Neve 5:00
3. I Wonder, Wonder I Do 2:25
4. Whale Rider 5:13
5. Silver Dagger 4:34
6. Skeleton Dance 3:05
7. Na Rama Do Alecrim 5:07
8. Patchwork 5:55
9. Jolly Jumper 3:09
10. Wattenmeer 7:07
11. XY Ungelost 4:39
12. Sam 5:18
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
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"It has been twenty years since the release of Carlos Bica's Azul, the Portuguese double bass player's debut recording with German guitarist Frank Mobus and the American drummer Jim Black. Their brand new album "More Than This" accurately describes their status quo. This new release reflects the same music that their audiences have learned to love since the very beginning and delivers beyond those expectations. The music conjures up old memories while exploring new musical territories.
This mature group of musicians has produced an album that opens new doors, looking to discover what's on the other side. Bica's lyricist (or "romantic," as he himself describes without hesitation) approach to contemporary jazz, combined with elements deriving directly from rock ("A La e a Neve") and from the folk traditon ("Silver Dagger") offers the listener new sounds and textures to revel in.
One can say that this new album sounds almost as if it was the very first time the trio composed and recorded together, but it is rife with the veteran wisdom one earns when acquiring the right to state something, instead of merely "proposing" it. The variety of the themes displayed in "More Than This" sway from direct and good humored (check "Skeleton Dance") to complex and deep, as on "XY Ungelost" - in both cases being faithful to Azul's identity. So, it comes down to this: on their sixth album, the trio has managed to record their best work ever. And yes - it's a gem."-Clean Feed
• Show Bio for Carlos Bica
"Double bass player and composer, Carlos Bica, is one of the most prolific and innovative sound artists of Portugal. Known for his lyrical tone on the double bass, Bica has the rare ability to write melodies that essentially are songs without words, haunting and unforgettable.
"Both a remarkable composer and musician who knows how to mix his folkloric, lyrical roots with any modern style he encounters".
Among the several musical projects he leads along with various theatre, film and dance projects, his trio AZUL with Frank Möbus and Jim Black has become his showcase as a bass player and composer.
His debut album, Azul, recorded for Polygram/ Emarcy, features guitar player Frank Möbus and drummer Jim Black, and special guests, singer, Maria João and, trombone player, Ray Anderson. It was voted "Best jazz record of the year" in Portugal in 1996 and it's widely accepted as the best portuguese jazz album ever done. Azul's next albums, Twist (1999) and Look What They've Done To My Song (2003), released by Enja Records, have received international critical acclaim. Believer (2006) is Azul's fourth album celebrating this Portuguese-German-American band's 10th anniversary. As visionary as its predecessors, the new album features the turntables of DJ Illvibe (aka Vincent von Schlippenbach). Pushed by DJ Illvibe's scratch sounds Azul's multi-urban grooves open a bright window into the future. "The magic of shaping" (Fono Forum)
Things About (2011) is Azul's fifth album celebrating this Portuguese-German-American band's 15th anniversary. "It is an achievement in itself that Carlos Bica and his trio Azul - with Frank Möbus and Jim Black - have never produced a less than extraordinary recording. In each edition the band seems to reborn, and after "Believer", here are Bica, Möbus and Black again, with fresh ideas, a renovated drive and a deeper poetic feeling. Things About is the most recent and probably the most perfect of Carlos Bica album's with his trio Azul.
In October 2005 Bor Land Records released Single, Carlos Bica's first bass solo CD. This album was recorded at the Radio Berlin-Brandenburg Studios and was nominated by the music magazine "Blitz" as one of the best albums of the year in Portugal.
Started by a commission from the Expo 1998 in Lisbon, Bica embarked upon his project "DIZ" (meaning "Speak to me") together with the extraordinary singer and actress Ana Brandão. His fruits were recorded and released in April 2001 for Enja Records. The album DIZ represents a new development in his music. Together with João Paulo (piano), Katharina Gramss (violin), Mike Rutledge (viola), DIZ leaps across the stylistics borders of chamber music, Portuguese folk, theatre, jazz and the art of song, with the entertaining ease and serious intensity of musical virtuosity. Jazz Podium termed it "Grandiose music"; Tip-Berlin "An elegy of beauty".
Carlos Bica has also composed for several theatre as well as dance and film productions. He worked for many years with renowned vocalist Maria João - a cooperating that established him on the international scene. He has played at the most important festivals in Europe and Asia and has worked with Ray Anderson, Kenny Wheeler, Aki Takase, Lee Konitz, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Albert Mangelsdorf, Joey Baron, Matthias Schubert, John Ruoco, John Zorn, Paolo Fresu, Markus Stockhausen among others. In the traditional music of his native Portugal - o fado - he performed with singer Carlos do Carmo, the best known musician of this popular genre, and recorded several albums with him. Among further important and inspiring authorities of the Portuguese musical tradition with whom Carlos Bica has performed and recorded rank such names as - José Mário Branco, Camané, Pedro Caldeira Cabral and Janita Salomé. "-Carlos Bica Website (http://www.carlosbica.com/index2.html)
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• Show Bio for Frank Mobus
"Frank Möbus (* March 7, 1966 in Nuremberg) is a German guitarist of modern jazz .
Möbus studied in Boston , Massachusetts at the Berklee College of Music from 1985 to 1989, and during this time he also had regular jazz music lessons with Jerry Bergonzi .
With the bass clarinetist Rudi Mahall he founded the band Der Rote Bereich in 1989, with which he visited countless internationally renowned festivals and has released seven albums (for Jazz4Ever Records , ACT and Intakt). In the project Azul by Carlos Bica , he has worked with Jim Black since 1993. He has also been a member of the groups, Christoph Grab's "Raw Vision", the formation "KUU!", With Daniel Erdmann from Erdmann / Rohrer / Möbus / Courtois (since 2009). And Wiesendanger / Möbus / Hemingway. He was a member of the formations "Erdmann 3000" (formerly known as Erdmann 2000) " Yuri Honings " "Wired Paradise", Paul van Kemenade -international 5tett, Dejan Terzic "underground and the soulband" Spank You ". He toured as a soloist with musicians such as Herb Robertson , Ray Anderson , Kenny Wheeler , Mark Helias, Karl Berger , Louis Sclavis , Maria João , Chris Speed , David Moss , Till Brönner and Han Bennink . As a soloist, he worked for the RIAS Big Band , the Ars Nova Ensemble , the Ensemble für Neue Musik Zürich, and Kevin Coyne's "Paradise Band". Since 1990 he has played up to 300 concerts worldwide with different formations.
Möbus was appointed professor of jazz guitar and ensemble to the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Weimar in 2003. He has also taught as a lecturer for jazz guitar at the Lucerne University since 2007 and taught at many jazz workshops around the world.
Frank Möbus composed the film music for Hans-Günter Brodmann and Rio Vermelho of the director Raquel Freire and worked occasionally with ambitious productions of young artists as a producer .
Privately Frank Möbus chose Berlin as its foodstuff. He is the father of a son and a daughter."-Wikipedia (translated by Google) (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Mšbus_(Gitarrist))
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• Show Bio for Jim Black
Jim Black is at the forefront of a new generation of musicians bringing jazz into the 21st century. In addition to being one of the most influential drummers of our time, he is also the leader of one of the world's most forward-thinking bands, AlasNoAxis, featuring his longtime collaborators Chris Speed, Hilmar Jensson and Skúli Sverrisson. Based on the foundation of his virtuosic but highly personal approach to jazz drumming, Black's aesthetic has expanded to include Balkan rhythms, rock songcraft and laptop soundscapes. Though he is revered worldwide for his limitless technique and futuristic concepts, what many listeners treasure in most Jim Black's work is the relentless feeling of joy and invention he brings to his performances. Jim Black's smiling, kinetic, unpredictable presence has enthralled and inspired audiences worldwide for over twenty-five years.
Since the mid-90's, Black has played a major role in the incorporation of new sounds and techniques into the jazz/creative music context. As a member of the collective group Pachora (with Speed, Sverrisson, and guitarist Brad Shepik) Black was one of the leaders in the study and adaptation of Balkan music into jazz-based music. His advanced techniques abstracted the odd time signatures of the Balkans into a new polyrhythmic language equally informed by modern jazz, drum&bass and the dumbeks of the Balkans. Black has also been an innovator in the use of electronics in improvisation, bridging the gap between electro-acoustic improv and more jazz-based traditions. Today, Black's performances are just as likely to feature his laptop-based electronic textures as his drumming.
Born in 1967, Jim Black grew up in Seattle alongside future colleagues Chris Speed, Andrew D'Angelo and Cuong Vu. After cementing their personal and artistic relationships in Seattle's various youth jazz ensembles, in 1985 they moved to Boston, where Black entered the Berklee School of Music. In Boston, Black, Speed and D'Angelo formed Human Feel with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, which rapidly attracted the attention of the jazz cognoscenti in Boston, New York and beyond.
By 1991, Black and the other members of Human Feel had moved to New York City, where they electrified the Downtown music scene then centered around the Knitting Factory and rapidly became among the city's busiest sidemen. Black's early years in New York saw him take featured roles in some of the most critically acclaimed bands of the time, like Tim Berne's Bloodcount, Ellery Eskelin's trio, and Dave Douglas's Tiny Bell Trio. Thus began fifteen years of near-constant touring and recording, with the above bands as well as artists like Uri Caine, Dave Liebman, Nels Cline, Steve Coleman, Tomasz Stanko, and Laurie Anderson.-Jim Black Website (http://www.jimblack.com/Jim_Black_dotcom/BIO.html)
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