The Communion project of Portuguese drummer-composer João Lencastre is a loose platform that enable him to expand his his dialogues with musicians from both sides of the Atlantic as sax players David Binney and Jeremy Udden, pianist Bill Carrothers, bass player Thomas Morgan, among many others. The fourth installment in this decade-long, Communion series, «Movements In Freedom», is a trio with New York-based pianist Jacob Sacks and Norwegian, but also New York resident, double bass player Oivind Opsvik, recorded on March 2017.
The Ornette Coleman’s piece that opens this album, «Street Woman», suggests this trio approach. Melodic but totally free. Sacks articulate the melodic theme but Opsvik and Lencastre set a tough, fast-shifting pulse that challenges and undermines the melodic vein. There are times in this piece that all sound soloing in different directions, still, keeping a loose, coherent envelope. The Lencastre-penned «Rain Drops» stresses a completely different vibe, delicate and reserved and led by Sacks’s meditative piano, despite the powerful pulse that Lencastre and Opsvik build. The two other compositions of Lencastre, «Crossed Paths» and «Banzão», stress the open, and dynamic energy of this trio, balanced with strong melodic sensibility.
The other six concise pieces are free, minimally structure improvisations. All offer looser frameworks and each of these short improvisations explores and experiments with distinct sonic aspects. The title-piece focuses on its first part on dark tones and loose, restless atmosphere and on its second part on solidifying a playful, rhythmic interplay. The minimalist «Walk on Clouds» investigates resonant and sparse yet even darker sounds and «Ghost Bells» deepens even further this minimalist, enigmatic vibe. «Tap Dancing» suggests a pulse that refuses to settle on a rhythmic pattern for its gentle melody and the last one, «Your Free Will Lies Here», builds patiently and slowly, a poetic, lyrical soundscape.
Freedom is indeed the essence of this trio. No boundaries, No forbidden procedures or strategies. No apologies. Just music, free, open and creative.
João Lencastre (dr), Jacob Sacks (p), Eivind Opsvik (b)