Portuguese sax player José Lencastre has wanted to play with marimba master Pedro Carneiro since the first time he heard him play about 15 years ago. The classically-trained Carneiro feels at home with contemporary music, modern jazz and free-improvised music and recently collaborated with drummer Pedro Melo Alves («Bad Company», Clean Feed, 2021) and pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro (who plays in Lencastre Nau Quartet, «Kinetic Études», Phonogram Unit, 2021). And as Lencastre tells in his liner notes, some thoughts have a tendency to materialize into actual things, ideas become real, and dreams come true.
«Thoughts Are Things» was recorded at OCP – Orquestra de Câmara Portuguesa in Algés in March 2021. Its atmosphere was inspired by the time Lencastre visited the Percussive Department at Eastman School of Music in Rochester and listened to contemporary works. Lencastre plays here the tenor sax in addition to the alto sax that was before his sole horn, and his Nau Quartet features his brother, drummer João Lencastre, and two-thirds of the RED Trio – pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro, and double bass player Hernâni Faustino.
The four extended pieces are credited to the five musicians and highlight the immediate and urgent rapport of Pedro Carneiro and José Lencastre. The music on the opening «One Way to Cultivate Courage» flows naturally, and sketches open, loose textures, but in a passionate and risk-taking interplay that enjoys the past collaboration of Carneiro and Pinheiro. The more structured and slow-cooking «Thought Atmospheres» offers first the introspective, lyrical of this ensemble, led by José Lencastre’s warm, singing voice and the subtle ways that Carneiro and Pinheiro converse before its cathartic coda. «Your Latent Powers» suggests a reserved, chamber atmosphere and an organic playfulness. The last «The Magnet of Thought» deepens further the profound affinity of Carneiro with the Nau Quartet, and the elusive, subtle ways of the open, introspective dynamics of this ensemble.
Sometimes, dreams do become true and beautiful.
Pedro Carneiro (marimba), José Lencastre (ts, as), Hernâni Faustino (b), Rodrigo Pinheiro (p), João Lencastre (dr)