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«Song(s) of Hope»

The Communion project of Portuguese drummer-composer João Lencastre – his collaborative, dynamic outfit with New York-based musicians – began t in 2005 after his first visit to New York in 2002. This shifting quintet and septet was turned into a piano trio with pianist Jacob Sacks and Norwegian double bass player Eivind Opsvik and released its debut album «Movements in Freedom» in 2017 (Clean Feed).

«Song(s) of Hope» continues and deepens the thematic and structure of the debut album of the trio. Lencastre’s compositions do not surrender its secrets easily, demand profound introspection into subtle and detailed ideas and seek to expand and refresh the sonic horizons of the piano trio. Lencastre himself describes his compositions as «Cecil Taylor meets Morton Feldman meets ‘popish’ epic themes».

The opening piece «Long Long Way» captures best the enigmatic atmosphere of «Song(s) of Hope». It speaks volumes despite its reserved, economic interplay, asks more questions than delivering comforting answers, and is delivered with the utmost elegance and a vivid sense of drive. The four brief fragments «Magnetic Frequency», investigate the minimalism of Feldman, «Song of Hope» highlight the total democratic interplay of this trio, where Lencastre, Sacks and Opsvik lead at the same time but always attentive to each other. «Hittin’ the Heavy Bag» and «Baby Pine Tree» correspond wisely with the free jazz legacy of Oenette Coleman and Cecil Taylor with its core melody.

Great trio. Great album.

Eyal Hareuveni

João Lencastre (dr, analogue synth), Jacob Sacks (p), Eivind Opsvik (b)

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