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Subatin, Javier (w/ Demian Cabaud & Pedro Melo Alves plus guests): Mountains (Habitable Records)

Led by Argentinian guitarist based in Lisbon, Javier Subatin, the core of his band is fellow Portugal-based Argentian bassist Demian Cabaud and drummer Pedro Melo Alves, with guests improvisers on a number of tracks, presenting a series of "Mountain" tracks interspersed with "Rocks", "Birds", "Cave", &c. in impressively advanced use of time, rhythm, structure and harmonics.

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product information:

UPC: 078416297766

Label: Habitable Records
Catalog ID: HR002
Squidco Product Code: 31192

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Musiberia Sound Studio,in Serpa, Portugal, by Andre Espada.


Javier Subatin-guitar, live electronics, composition

Demian Cabaud-double bass, birds, water

Pedro Melo Alves-drums

Joao Mortagua-alto saxophone

Ricardo Jacinto-cello

Samuel Gapp-piano

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Artist Biographies:

"Javier Subatin was born in Buenos Aires in 1985 and he is now living in Lisbon.

In Buenos Aires, at the age of ten, he felt the calling for music and guitar playing. When he was 14 he started composing music for guitar and different ensembles and his curiosity about music led him to study jazz guitar, improvisation and composition with several teachers.

In 2005 he completed the first year of the Bachelor on Electroacoustic Composition at the Quilmes University and in 2008 he got a Bachelor's degree in popular music with a specialization in Tango guitar. Between 2012 and 2013 he studied music production at INARTEC. In 2014, he moved to Paris where he worked on different projects including Tango ensembles, private teaching and composing original music for a stage production.

In the past years, he was selected to participate in various international contests and festivals such as the Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition 2015, Komeda Jazz Composers Competition 2017, the Euroradio Jazz Competition 2019 at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, So What's Next? Jazz Festival 2020, Südtirol Jazz Festival 2019 and Gaudeamus Music Week 2020.

He started his path as a composer and guitarist in the European jazz scene in 2018 with the release of his first recording "Autotelic" with the support of Sintoma Records and Antena 2 radio station. And in the course of two years, he released three recordings and is currently working on two new albums to be released in 2021. Additionally, in 2018 and 2019, he won a grant from Fundação GDA for the production of his second album "Variaciones" and for his fourth album that will be recorded in March 2021 with the support of Antena 2 and Musiberia.

His first recording, "Autotelic", is based on a duo of piano and guitar with the renowned Portuguese jazz pianist João Paulo Esteves da Silva. His second album, "Variaciones", has the collaboration of some of the most relevant jazz musicians from Portugal. Variaciones (March 2020) had its debut presentations in 2019 in Hot Club de Portugal and Porta Jazz. His third recording (Trance), which was released by Ears&Eyes Records in November 2020, is based on a trio of guitar, alto saxophone and drums. With this project, he performed in festivals such as Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Südtirol Jazz Festival and Somersby Out Jazz. Currently, Javier is composing for a new trio project and working on a solo performance in which he works on compositions and free improvisations using extended techniques and electronics, thus creating a musical context that mixes contemporary improvised music, jazz and electronic music.

Javier also works on classical and new music composition. His piece "Pensando Vientos" (for flute, clarinet, horn and string quartet) has been selected to be part of a workshop at the Annual Royal Music Association conference in Bristol. Furthermore, his experimental piece for solo guitar and surround electronics "Untitled#1", in which he explores original ways of writing for prepared guitar with different objects, loops and electronics, has been selected to be performed at the international conference 21st Century Guitar - Unconventional Approaches to Performance, Composition and Research in March 2021. Additionally, his four pieces series of interactive compositions "Exploración 111" was selected to take part in the Gaudeamus Music Week 2020 (Netherlands).In 2019 he finished the master's degree in jazz performance at the Superior School of Music in Lisbon (Instituto Superior de Música de Lisboa) during which he developed two research projects. The first year he worked on a study about the contemporary jazz current reality that was presented in the Nova Contemporary Music Meeting 2019 and it will be published during 2021 by CESEM. He also finished his dissertation about the first stage of the compositional process in contemporary jazz where he developed a map that proposes a methodology to approach and analyse the initial stages of the creative process.

In 2020, he founded the Composers and Improvisers´ Community Project (CICP) where musicians from different parts of the world release solo performances in video format and collaborative recordings produced remotely. Currently, the CICP project includes more than 15 musicians from Portugal, Italy, Finland, Argentina, the United States, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and is constantly growing. Starting in 2021, Javier will program a series of 20 live streaming performances with the support of the Antena 2 radio station."

-Javier Subatin Website (

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"Demian Cabaud was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1977 into a non-musical family. He discovered music by himself at age 11 and started going deep into it, later fell in love with the sound of the Double bass and started studying with Hernan Merlo, Miguel Angel Villarroel and for the last 12 years with Alejandro Erlich Oliva.

In 2001 moved to Boston, Massachusetts, after receiving a scholarship from Berklee College of Music, where he graduated in may 2003.

In Boston had contact and learned from great masters and stared performing with many talented musicians and a tour brought him to Portugal, in 2004 he moved to Lisbon and after 7 years moved to Porto, where he lives with his family.

Demian is a very active artist having played and recorded with Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano, Chris Cheek, Mark Turner, Bill Mchenry, Rich Perry, Rick Margitza, Seamus Blake, Ohad Talmor, Miguel Zenon,Perico Sanbeat, David Schnitter, Maria Schneider, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Gilad Hekselman, Phil Grenadier, Darren Barret, Russ Johnson, Jason Palmer, Jason Moran, Bill Carrothers, Leo Genovese, Bernardo Sasseti, Albert Sanz, Mario Laginha, Maria Rita, Maria Joao, Theo Bleckman, Sheila Jordan, Ra Kalam Bob Moses, Jeff Williams, John Riley, Jorge Rossy, Gerald Cleavert, Francisco Mela, Dan Weiss, Ari hoenig Ferenc Nemeth, John Hollenbeck, among many others.

He teaches at Porto Conservatory (Esmae), Portugal, and in Siena Jazz master program, in Italy.

Demian is a regular member of the prestigious Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos OJM for the last 16 years.

Has played on more than 70 records and as a leader released "Naranja" TOAP Records in 2008,"Ruínas" TOAP Records in 2010 and "How about you?" TOAP Records in 2011, "En febrero" Fresh sound New Talent records 2013, "Off the ground " Robalo records 2016, "Astah" Carimbo Portajazz 2018, "A terra é de quem a trabalha" Carimbo Portajazz 2018 and "Aparición" Carimbo Portajazz 2019, "Otro cielo" Carimbo Portajazz 2021."

-Demian Cabaud Website (

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"Pedro Melo Alves is one of the most unsettled new minds in Portugal, avid for something more, yet unknown.

Having been awarded with the Bernardo Sassetti composition award in 2016, distinguished as the National Musician of the Year in 2017 by and in 2019 with the Premio Internazionale Giorgio Gaslini he's been increasingly present in the European music scene, presenting his projects in events such as 12 Points Festival (2018), European Jazz Conference (2018) or Jazzahead (2019).

Born in 1991, in Porto, Portugal, Pedro starts studying music in 2000. Enrolls at the Jazz Drums superior course in 2011 at the Porto Superior School of Music (ESMAE), having lessons with Michael Lauren and Carlos Azevedo, and leaves the course in 2013 to study classical and jazz piano with Abe Rabade and Daniel Bernardes. The participation on several workshops in Portugal, Spain and Italy led him to meet and study with some of the contemporary jazz scene figures, such as Danilo Perez, John Escreet and Ralph Alessi. Enters in 2015 on the Musical Composition superior course at the Lisbon Superior School of Music (ESML), where he studies with Sérgio Azevedo, José Luís Ferreira and António Pinho Vargas.

Today he plays as a drummer and composer in innovative modern jazz bands (Omniae Ensemble, The Rite of Trio, In Igma), contemporary electroacoustic projects (his solo O, CACO.MEAL or his trio symph), improvised music (with João Paulo Esteves da Silva, Luís Vicente, Theo Ceccaldi, Ricardo Jacinto, Jacqueline Kerrod, Pedro Branco), instrumental rock (Catacombe), soundtracks for Theatre and Dance (with Schaubühne's Peter Kleinert, Carlota Lagido or his own art collective Caos) and erudite composition."

-Pedro Melo Alves Website (

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"With his own very personal view of jazz, João Mortágua has rapidly established himself as one of the most complete and challenging modern-day saxophonists in Portugal. His elegant compositions offer space both for solo improvisation and mesmerizing group dynamics. Mortágua recorded his first album "Janela" in 2014. Recently, he published "MIRRORS" (Live at Guimarães Jazz) and "AXES"."

-Joao Mortagua Bandcamp (

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"Ricardo Jacinto / Lisbon (1975). Lives and works in Lisbon and Belfast. Working as an artist and musician mainly focusing on the relation of sound and space. Currently pursuing a PHD at the Sonic Arts Research Center / Belfast. Graduated in Architecture at the University of Lisbon-Faculty of Architecture, and Sculpture and Advanced Visual Arts at Ar.Co / Lisbon. Graduate courses at the School of Visual Arts, New York. Musical studies at the Hot Clube de Portugal and Academia de Amadores de Música / Lisbon. Since 1998 has presented his work in individual and group exhibitions, concerts and performances, in Portugal and abroad. Has collaborated extensively with other artists, musicians, architects and performers. Founder of OSSO - Cultural Association

Presented is installation work in several contemporary art venues in Portugal and across Europe: Projet Room CCB_Lisboa, Círculo de Belas Artes em Madrid, MUDAM_Luxemburgo, Centro Cultural Gulbenkian_Paris, Manifesta 08_European Bienal de Arte Contemporânea de Itália, Loraine Frac- Metz, OK CENTRE_Linz_Austria, CHIADO 8_Culturgest_Lisbon, Casa da Música / Porto e Bienal de Arquitetura de Veneza de 2006.

As a cellist has mainly worked in the field of free improvised music playing in several formations and with different musicans: Nuno Torres, Rodrigo Pinheiro, David Maranha, Hernani Faustino, Ernesto Rodrigues, Luis Lopes, Ricardo Guerreiro, C Spencer Yeh, Shiori Usui, Manuel Mota, Pedro Rebelo, Franziska Schroeder, Simon Rose, Paul Stapletton, Jean Luc-Guionnet, Gabriel Ferrandini, Orquestra de geometria variável, PinkDraft, Cacto, FOIRMFADA, among others. Has played in different venues in Portugal and abroad: Fundação de Serralves / Porto, Palais Tokyo / Paris, SARC / Belfast, Festival VERBO / São Paulo, Festival Temps d' Images_Lisbon, Festival Rescaldo_Lisbon, Festival BigBang_CCB_Lisbon, Culturgest_Porto e Lisboa, ZDB / Lisboa, Dança Base_Edimbrugh, Kabinett 0047_Oslo, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian / Paris, among others."

-Ricardo Jacinto Website (

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"Samuel Gapp (*1997) is a German pianist, composer and interdisciplinary artist based in Lisbon, Portugal.

Gapp is active as a pianist in improvised and contemporary music. As a composer, he is mostly focussing on the combination of classical formations with improvisation.

In 2019, his compositions for piano trio and string quartet were awarded with the "Bernardo Sassetti Composition Award". In the same year, he won the "Young Musicians Award" with the "Tomás Marques Quarteto" in Portugal.

Gapp has created various interdisciplinary projects, like his video exhibition "Social Distancing" (improvised music with abstract videos), the trio "Triplo Salto Mortal" (realtime audiovisual improvising) or his most recent project "14 Dialoge" (dialogues between solo piano and images).

As a founding member of "Habitable Records" and being part of "CI Community Project", he is collaborating with artists all over the world and creating an international platform that aims for exchange, equality and musical research.

Gapp is also active in an educational and social context: In 2014, he spent six months in Ecuador, where he taught music to socially disadvantaged children in the city of Guayaquil. In 2021, he performed at the Big Bang Festival in Lisbon, an european music festival for young audiences.

So far, Samuel Gapp has worked with musicians like Peter Evans, Evan Parker, Christian Lillinger, Peter Brötzmann, Michael Schiefel, Demian Cabaud, among others.

Gapp studied jazz piano with Florian Ross, Sebastian Sternal, Hendrik Soll and João Paulo Esteves da Silva at the "Hochschule für Musik und Tanz" in Cologne, Germany and the "Escola Superior de Música" in Lisbon, Portugal.

Currently, he is doing his master degree in classical composition at the "Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa" with Luís Tinoco."

-Samuel Gapp Website (

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track listing:

1. Mountain#1 03:52

2. Rocks 01:30

3. Mountain#5 11:29

4. Birds 03:42

5. Mountain#3 10:11

6. Cave 03:09

7. Mountain#4 06:02

8. Ground 02:44

9. Mountain#2 06:09

10. Mountain#6 10:05

11. Shadows 03:45

12. Solo#5 05:01
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Javier Subatin's laser-accurate guitar drive grounds the interplay on Mountains, a natural world infused spin through the past and future of improvised music. Sidestepping the jazz concept of rhythm-section-with-lead-"voice" the partnership here operates with fluidity- a constant exchange of summit and valley- the listener's attention drawn to multiple complementary synapses climbing together in tandem revelatory invention. Demian Cabaud's double bass and Pedro Melo Alves' drums suffuse Javier's compositions with colorful innovation, restraint, heft, elation...guests (Samuel Gapp, piano; Ricardo Jacinto, cello; Joao Mortagua, alto sax) expand the range cohesive and untethered."-Habitable Records

"Javier Subatin, a versatile Argentinian guitarist based in Lisbon, gathered with fellow countryman bassist Demian Cabaud and Portuguese drummer Pedro Melo Alves for a stimulating new album. Guest performers appear on six of the 12 tracks.

The central pieces on this record - Subatin's Mountain compositions - are interspersed with more abstract collective improvisations that can go from avant-garde settings with constant restless motions ("Birds") and controlled tension ("Shadows") to slightly eerie episodes with a percussive emphasis ("Caves").

The opener, "Mountain#1", is among my favorites, showing the trio in absolute command of multiple meter signatures. Before the final straight-to-the-gut rock muscularity limned by Alves' drum work, there's a strident improvisation by Subatin. He makes an impact by engaging in rhythmic ideas that shifts chromatically.

The polyrhythmic "Mountain#3" brings us discernible, emotionally charged harmonic movements in 13/8 before opting for a symmetric jazz rock groove with hints of funk. This is celebrated by the enthusiastic interplay between Subatin and guest pianist Samuel Gapp.

Also featuring an ostinato-driven passage in 13, "Mountain #5" is atmospherically drafted for freedom but also includes thoroughly composed parts. The tension grows and the peak is reached halfway, during the bandleader's revved-up soloing process. Yet, all ends pacifically with the bowed bass orienting us toward a circular trajectory.

Diversity is an asset here, and if "Mountain#4" blossoms like a folk dance and shows signs of fusion, then "Mountain#2" suggests chamber classical music with appropriate counterpoint, for which much contributes the cellist Ricardo Jacinto. By contrast, "Mountain#6", which starts breezily in seven, features the suppleness of altoist João Mortágua and a solo dissertation by Cabaud in a well-paced ride. As a conclusion, all guests take part in "Solo#5", a melodic and beautifully textured piece with a flowing sense of pop song.

The contemporary aural descriptions of these 'mountains' make us want to climb them to the top. Moreover, the telepathic camaraderie between the musicians is noticeable and the ambitious musical experiment wins."-Filipe Freitas, Jazz Trail

Get additional information at Jazz Trail
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic Improv
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Trio Recordings
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