Garuda is the name of a Hindu god, the king of the birds and a kite-like figure. «Garuda» is also the title of a new Portuguese trio featuring Rotterdam-based alto sax player Hugo Costa, known from the bands Albatre, Anticlan and Real Mensch, double bass player Hernâni Faustino, of the RED Trio, Uivo Zebra and José Lencastre Nau Quartet, and drummer João Valinho, of Voltaic Trio who collaborates with Faustino in the No Nation Trio. «Garuda» documents the first-ever session of the trio at the Scratch Built studio in Lisbon in 2021. The album is released by the Indian label Subcontinental, apparently, the only Indian label that focuses on free and experimental music.
The music is free improvised but is informed by the legacy of spiritual free jazz. This is a democratic trio, and all three musicians are well-versed in the art of the moment. The trio establishes immediately tight dynamics and an organic flow of the music in the opening piece, 19-minute of the title piece, and Costa articulates an instant yet clear and coherent narrative to this powerful improvisation that alternates cleverly between fiery eruption and lyrical musings.
The trio employs another improvised strategy on «Camel Caravan». Faustino and Valinho build a massive rhythmic basis while Costa soars over their complex pulse. The brief «Jabbing» is a loose, sound-oriented experiment. The last 16-minute «A leap into space» revolves around a bass motif of Faustino, while Costa and Valinho patiently develop its melodic veins and intensify its tension, all with captivating lyrical beauty, and towards the ecstatic coda.
A promising meeting that calls for more and more live performances of the trio.
Hugo Costa (as), Hernâni Faustino (b), João Valinho (dr)