João Lencastre’s Communion is the main project of the Portuguese drummer in the last fifteen years, keeping incarnating itself on both sides of the Atlantic as a sextet, septet, trio, and on «Unlimited Dreams» as an octet for the first time. The new version of the Communion relies on some of the promising musicians from the vibrant Lisbon scene plus Argentinian, Barcelona-based sax player Albert Cirera and Berlin-based pianist Benny Lackner, all of them collaborated before with Lencastre. The new album was recorded at Estúdios Atlântico Blue in Paço de Arcos in May 2021.
The expanded version of Lencastre’s Communion – two saxophones, two electric guitars, two basses (one of them electric), piano, drums and electronics – allows the drummer-composer to realize some of his orchestral musical dreams, and to show more of «his musical self». The versatile sonic horizons of Lencastre and this band are indeed unlimited, incorporating elements from jazz, rock, metal, electronica, reggae and afrobeat.
The six pieces of «Unlimited Dreams» sound as constantly and restlessly navigating back and forth between ambitious, multifaceted textures, full of nuanced, kaleidoscopic contrasts, and never settling on one genre or subscribing to familiar dynamics. The aptly-titled «Insomnia» captures best the state of mind of the octet, alternating between a soulful jazz theme, skronky-funky rock outbursts and nervous electronics, anchored only by the leisured pulse of Lencastre and electric bassist João Hasselberg. The following «The Mystery Path» alternates in a different manner between an elusive, cinematic soundscape and intense free jazz freak out but ends as a jazz ballad. «Mitote» flirts with metal grind and «No Filter» with a breezy, emotional type of reggae before it drowns into a dense electronic storm. The last, title piece begins with a beautiful, lyrical theme, and patiently intensifies this theme with more contrasting timbres and dynamics until locking on a massive fusion groove.
João Lencastre (dr), Albert Cirera (ts, ss), Ricardo Toscano (as), Benny Lackner (p, elec), André Fernandes (el.g), Pedro Branco (el.g), João Hasselberg (el.b, elec), Nelson Cascais (b)