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Linae (line in Latin) features a new Portuguese cross-generational, a free improvising trio of young trumpeter João Almeida, with the more experienced pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro, known for his playing with RED Trio, José Lancaster’s bands and Luís Lopes’ Lisbon-Berlin Quartet, and Cologne-based drummer Vasco Furtado, who also collaborated before with Lencastre. Pinheiro and Furtado are also co-founders of the artist-operated Phonogram Unit label, and Pinheiro and Almedia already collaborated in the recent release of the label, the self-titled album of the quintet hyper.object from 2022.

The trio recorded its debut album at Timbuktu Studio in Lisbon in May 2022, aiming to slowly develop ideas, and reconstruct and deconstruct these ideas while balancing between serene, introspective moods and uncompromising, energetic moments. The democratic yet demanding dynamics of this trio find common lines – or threads – in free jazz and contemporary music that feed its healthy tension. The musical versatility and immediate and spontaneous creativity suggest an inspiring, genre-defying work.

These gifted improvisers know also to balance between assertive individual solos and when to step aside, how to gravitate the music into hyperactive, collective improvisation, and how to trigger the others with detailed offers and colorful playing, all throughout the immediate, shapeshifting spirit of Linae. The most beautiful «Desvio padrão» captures this trio alternating between minimalist and fragmented to urgent and powerful modes, always rich with nuanced ideas. The restless, conversational interplay of «Roar» and «Pyroclastic» highlights the way these improvisers keep feeding each other with challenging ideas.

Linae is an excellent album from a trio that just begins to explore its great potential.

Eyal Hareuveni

João Almeida (tp), Rodrigo Pinheiro (p), Vasco Furtado (dr)

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