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Frame Trio teams Portuguese trumpeter Luís Vicente and guitarist Marcelo dos Reis – both have collaborated before in the groups Chamber 4, Fail Better! and In Layers – with Belgian double bass player Nils Vermeulen, known from local groups as Kabas and Jukwaa. The trio recorded its debut album at Centro Norton de Matos Gymnasium in Coimbra, Portugal, on November, 2017.

The six-part suite «Luminária» offers Frame Trio fresh approach to free-improvised music. There is a strong sense of space and freedom in the trio interplay. Space as if there are more than just three gifted and resourceful improvisers coloring the «Luminária» sonic canvas. And freedom from any debt to genre, legacy or convention; a freedom to search your own way and your own, provocative sounds within the loose interplay. Vicente, especially, enjoys this kind of total freedom and moves freely from articulating lyrical, melodic lines that referencing the ECM school to exploring extended breathing techniques that refer to innovative European trumpeters as Axel Dörner and Franz Hautzinger. Dos Reis uses different effects to expand, intensify and alter his guitar sound and Vermeulen’s extended bowing techniques contribute to the tension building of the suite.

The trio explores different improvising strategies throughout the «Luminária» suite. The brief, lyrical first part of the suite already informs us that this trio follows only its own rules. The seconds part flirts with Spanish-tinged motifs, but keeps twisting and distorting these motifs. The third and fifth parts confront the distinct improvisational approaches and extended techniques of Vicente, dos Reis and Vermeulen. The fourth part develops patiently as a dark tone-poem, anchored by Vermeulen bowing work, with subtle comments Vicente and dos Reis that stress the suggestive qualities of this piece. The last piece sounds as an exotic folk song, driven by the dos Reis cyclical guitar lines that attempt to blend the West-African kora with a Spanish guitar.

Eyal Hareuveni

Luís Vicente (tp), Marcelo dos Reis (g), Nils Vermeulen (b)

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