The very end of this release, recorded on August 4, 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal, keeps the listener wanting more, but luckily one can just re-press the play button and listen again, as this music's slowly evolving and subtle aesthetics has one discovering new details with each satisfying listen. What makes this trio (Susan Alcorn on pedal & lap steel guitars, Jose Lencastre on alto & tenor saxophones, and Hernani Faustino on double & electric bass) work is the empathetic interaction and sensibilities of these kindred, well-matched musicians.
All six pieces stand as finely crafted real time compositions each with its own character, with evocative titles, "The Poet," "Two Distant Realities," "Sombra," "Interalia," "Saturnalia" and "Manha Louca." The first piece, "The Poet," is the longest of the six tracks at just over 10 minutes. The other five are all relatively short, but within each, something special and architecturally engaging happens. "The Poet" progresses like a symphonic piece by someone like Delius, very slow and drifting, with rich swelling chords from Susan Alcorn's pedal steel guitar (she also plays lap steel on this session in the last track "Manha Louca"), Hern‚ni Faustino's stalking electric bass line that enlarges into a didgeridoo-like drone, along with the squiggles and splotches of Josť Lencastre's alto (he also plays tenor on half of the tracks here) and the whole builds to a terse poly-harmonic climax.
"Sombra" opens with a haunting melismatic sliding theme from the steel guitar that evokes the shadowy aspect of the title, but Alcorn also makes use of the brighter upper reaches of the instrument. A similar kind of sound launches "Interalia" but the piece morphs with a violin-like effect in the pedal steel lines. The range of articulations is a big part of Alcorn's artistry, as she can create guitaristic timbral qualities of an astounding variety, which her cohorts are quick to respond to in this release. The shimmering pedal steel guitar in the hands of Alcorn is a wonderful instrument that elicits from her two partners playfully subtle and sensitive creative gestures making for an enjoyable, expressive, multicolored and soothingly meditative listen.
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