Meandros e Vertentes cs510









“Meandros e Vertentes” was released on April 4, 2018 by “Creative Sources”. Evocative and interesting avant-garde jazz album was recorded by “Free Music 7tet”. “Free Music 7tet” is experimental jazz ensemble, which consists of seven experienced and creative avant-garde jazz masters – Ernesto Rodrigues (viola), Luiz Rocha (clarinet & bass clarinet), Guilherme Rodrigues (cello), Eduardo Chagas (trombone), and (piano), Hernâni Faustino (double bass) and Paulo Ferreira Lopes (drums). “Free Music 7tet” members are famous in cntemporary experimental jazz scene – they have specific playing style, like brave and innovative musical experiments and create unusual and interesting sound. Their individual improvisations are gently blended together in the compositions by “Free Music 7tet”. The msuical pattern has many different layers and colors – individual melodies, bright musical language by each musician, sound experiments, franky and inventive musical decisions, spontaneous improvisations, the combinations between various music styles are the main elements of these compositions. The musicians like to blend together avant-garde jazz, fre, creative, bebop, post-bop, hard-bop, intonations of contemporary experimental music and very mild tones of contemporary academic avant-garde, the elements of various countries ethnical music and many other styles. Musicians are creating the compositions in the spot and it makes an effort – helps musicians to create contrasting, expressive and bright sound.
The compositions are based on avant-garde jazz and free improvisation. Just like in the earlier albums, the musicians like to blend the main elements of experimental jazz with other music styles. For the most of the time, avant-garde jazz is blended with modern jazz styles – dynamic, rapid, monotonic and expressive rhythmic, sharp and dissonance harmony, sudden and vivacious changes of moods are heard very clearly in these compositions. Along with avant-garde and modern jazz, there’s also heard the intonations of experimental music, academic avant-garde and contemporary academical music which are organically connected together with ethnical music intonations of various countries. The academic sound and intonations are heard very mildly and softly hear – the main basic of the compostitions still is avant-garde jazz, free improvisation and other basic elements of experimental jazz. Clarinet and bass clarinet melodies, trombone and piano melodies keep solid, firm and vibrant basement of free improvisation. Expressive, vivacious, playful and touching clarinets solos, sharp, aggressive and spontaneous piano, solid and deep trombones, sharp dissonances harmony, dynamic rhythmic, spontaneous and free improvisations, turbulent solos, sound experiments and many other elements contain the main part of Luiz Rocha, Eduardo Chagas and Karoline Leblanc improvisations. Guilherme Rodrigues cello, Hernâni Faustino double bass and Ernesto Rodrigues viola improvisations also are based on main elements of avant-garde jazz, but also bring the intonations of academical music to the compositions. It’s probably effected by the playing techniques – musicians are using their own and unqiue experimental playing ways along with traditional playing techniques of contemporary academical music and academic avant-garde. That makes an effort to the marvelous and organic synthesis between avant-garde jazz and contemporary academical and experimental music. Expressive, sharp, harsh, touching and passionate string solos are free and spontaneous – they are sounding the most effectively in collective improvisations, which have vibrant, turbulent and expressive sound. Paulo Ferreira Lopes drums section is especially energetic, rapid and vivacious. It’s full of contrasts, eclectic and extravagant rhythmic combinations, harsh, loud and turbulent solos, spontaneous free improvisations and have vivacious, effective and innovative sound. All the musicians are improvising impressively and originally – together they create expressive, modern, vivacious and extraordinary sound. (Avant Scena)

[...] The forgoing suggests, perhaps, a contrast between an intimate conversation & the chaos of the larger world, and such a contrast might in turn suggest a continuum. I'm not going to try to assert a border between large & small ensembles, though, and if anything, such a threshold is variable & dependent on musical approach. For Rodrigues & colleagues, whose instruments are already conceived as multiple, such that a "partial objects" approach (or dividuation, as one might say) allows various simultaneous interactions anyway, a septet can become a rather large ensemble. That's true to some extent on the recent Meandros e Vertentes, recorded live in Lisbon this February, which also tries to balance a more traditional approach to free playing. Its "Free Music Septep" (and although I've seen sites correcting this to Septet, the "Septep" spelling is found in multiple places on the album, including the CD itself, so I have to think it's intentional) this time involves a mix of instrument families: Ernesto Rodrigues himself, Luiz Rocha (clarinets, having appeared with the Lisbon String Trio on Akuanduba, discussed here in July), Guilherme Rodrigues, Eduardo Chagas (trombone, a frequent collaborator on Creative Sources, including a recent duo with Ernesto Rodrigues, Holes and Cracks, and an upcoming quartet album with the Lisbon String Trio, Tactile), Karoline Leblanc (piano, also appearing with Lisbon String Trio on Liames, discussed in August), Hernani Faustino (double bass) & Paulo Ferreira-Lopes (drums). The septet thus consists of a rather typical "jazz" collection of instruments (Ernesto himself on viola being the least typical), particularly relative to the Rodrigues's output otherwise, and does connect (& tangibly so) to some of their less avant garde projects — as the participation of Faustino might have already suggested. Indeed, some passages involve a boisterous & traditional "free" style, evoking urban traffic noise, etc. Other passages are much quieter, however, in keeping with Rodrigues's other concerns: One can even note a formal alternation between the five tracks (together lasting nearly an hour), with the massive outer tracks including both noisier & more spacious sections, and the even-numbered tracks generally remaining quite minimal & calm — and the (shortest) third track consisting of a kind of rush of glorious racket. The opposing block structure (and the extent of planning that was involved, I have no idea, although the outer tracks do seem to involve cycling through more specific inspirations, although in less of an explicit collage mode than is found so often in analogous contemporary efforts — e.g. Ken Vandermark, etc.) reminds me a bit of Messiaen, although the resulting sonics certainly do not. Let me also note a couple of favorites employing (vaguely) similar ensembles: Yad (octet) generally has much more presence; one might say that it never hides, as Rodrigues albums sometimes seem to do, lending an anxious edge to its interrogation, and indeed a more personal emphasis than the sometimes impersonal (e.g. trans- or posthuman) quality emerging from Meandros e Vertentes (& recall that the "fold" concept, the name of the opening track, is central to e.g. Deleuzian philosophy). Skein (sextet) is perhaps even more processual, but also retains a strong — even relentless — foreground amid evocations of specific harmonic styles. So both Yad & Skein are more tonal than Meandros e Vertentes (although themselves plenty dissonant, which is of course a contextual term). The latter thus involves not only various layers of (sometimes opposed) activity, but a sort of emergent structure via the (sometimes dodecaphonic) contrapuntal interactions. It's sometimes almost jazzy, with a sonic richness emerging out of spaciousness itself. (Indeed, some of the more extroverted moments are a real treat, and novel within Rodrigues's recent output.) And it's sometimes about barely conscious scrapings, human relations receding into a general calm.... It's thus another album (like Yad, but in a rather different way) that leaves one listening intently to the environment. The latter is one measure of its success (i.e. affectivity per se), as is the ability to project some individual personality. Whereas this might be a good entry into Ernesto Rodrigues's music for some — and I certainly have no "ideal" suggestion! — I found it to be more preliminary than polished: Perhaps its consequent rather open quality is (also) an attraction for some readers, though. 25 May 2018. Todd McComb's Jazz Thoughts

A live recording from the acoustic septet Free Music 7tet of Ernesto Rodrigues (viola), Luiz Rocha (clarinets), Guilherme Rodrigues (cello), Eduardo Chagas (trombone), and (piano), Hernani Faustino (double bass) and Paulo Ferreira Lopes (drums), performing at O'Culto da Ajuda, for five improvisations from active free improv to lowercase exploration. (Squidco)


It is diffcult to believe, but "Meandros e Vertentes" is even better. Both Ernesto and Guilherme are back, sided among others by the phenomenal Luis Rocha and Hernâni Faustino. 17 minutes long "Dobras" starts with a duo of bass and drums, joined by the Rodrigues family and Katerine playing inside piano. After some minutes she
changes to keyboard, and the trombone and clarinet join. Amazingly rich music, incorporating the tradition of the XX and XXI century chamber music, and the history of free jazz ad free improvisation. Ein Meisterstück!!! After such eruption of creativity, "Dobras e Meandros"
should sound mediocre, but it is not the case: It is a completely open, complex, yet peaceful track, with phenomenal strings and bass work. "Vertentes" is the masterpiece of Katerine's piano and the septet
support wow is the only word I can say! "Linhas e veios" is another quiet, actually minimalist piece, lyrical and melancholic, and so beautiful that one cannot stop listening ti it. "Meandros e Vertentes" close this extra-ordinary album. Another masterpiece with changing moods, incredible synergies, solos and duos and collective improvisations. For me one of the most original free improvised records of the last decade!!! Maciej Lewenstein