The Squid's Ear Magazine


Bica, Carlos & Azul (feat. Frank Mobus / Jim Black): Azul In Ljubljana (Clean Feed)

For their 7th album after 20 years of collaboration, double bassist Carlos Bica's trio Azul with Frank Mobus on guitar and Jim Black on drums presents this exemplary live album recorded at the 2015 Ljubljana Jazz Festival in Lsovenia, clearly illustrating their characteristic clean and lyrically melodic sound through beautiful textural and energetic playing.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Carlos Bica-double bass

Frank Mobus-guitar

Jim Black-drums, percussion


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UPC: 5609063004953

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF495
Squidco Product Code: 26178

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at the Ljubljana Jazz Festival, in Ljubljana, Lsovenia, on July 3rd and 4th, 2015, by Lus Delgado.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"If you say Azul, you have to say Carlos Bica as well, hardly anyone in jazz is connected to a single band like the Portuguese with this unique trio featuring Frank Mobus on guitar and Jim Black on drums. Azul has been working together for more than 20 years and is considered one of the most significant and fertile trios of this moment.

Azul in Ljubljana, is their 7th album and the very first one ever live recorded. As a composer, double bassist Carlos Bica is a cultivator of the song format, but if as such he knows the virtues of studio production and engineering, in order to perfect a composition at a detail level, he's also very much conscious that, in jazz, the best for a song is to be played live and to grow from the confines of what is written through improvisation.

Hence the importance of this new album of his band Azul, with Frank Mobus and Jim Black, recorded in the magnificent 2015 concert they gave at the Ljubljana Jazz Festival. All the studio recordings by this trio are great, but here the music breathes more widely, go more deep and have more expressive effect, because a jazz song depends more from the "here and now" of a performance than a pop or a folk song, even when there's aspects of both in the music.

They're self evident, as it is the rock factor in some of the tracks, and also the lyrical quality coming directly from the classical tradition: Azul is the sum of all this in a beautiful, mysterious, dramatic and sometimes intense way, giving a human, fragile, contradictory soul to the electric jazz of the 21st century."-Clean Feed


Artist Biographies

"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)
4/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"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_Mbus_(Gitarrist))
4/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

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)
4/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. P-Beat 3:11

2. John Wayne 4:16

3. Deixa Pra Lá 2:00

4. Say A Wish 5:47

5. O Profeta 8:48

6. Horses 5:45

7. Believer 9:56

8. Luscious 4:02

9. Alguém Olhará Por Ti 4:48

10. Canção Número Dois 5:49

Related Categories of Interest:


Clean Feed
Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Trio Recordings
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
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