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«Vento» is the debut album of a new trio of Portuguese sax player José Lencastre together with double bass player Hernâni Faustino and drummer Vasco Furtado. «Vento» is also the debut album of the newly-founded, artists-operated. Lisbon-based label Phonogram Unit, dedicated to experimental, improvised, and electro-acoustic music, and managed Lencastre, Faustino, Furtado, with guitarist Jorge Nuno and pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro. «Vento» was recorded at Fisga Studio, Lisbon in November 2018.

The six pieces are credited to Lencastre, Faustino, and Furtado and sound as parts in one ling suite or one set. It is clear from the first seconds that this trio wants to mold anew the format of the sax-bass-drums trio and approach the themes, pulse, and interplay in its own way. The album title «Vento» (wind in Portuguese), already informs about the big space in which this trio operates. To that, you can add a total democratic interplay and a strong sense of searching and risk-taking, allowing the pieces to flow organically and find in their own time and terms their inner logic and center of gravity.

This trio references the American legacy of free jazz but often in a more introspective version. It flirts with extended techniques on the short and sparse «Abstração», builds patiently its powerful groove on «Test Drive» but avoids a climactic coda, and injects more space to the powerful interplay on «Keep Going». The minimalist «Ruínas» is the most intriguing piece here, focused on quiet, minimalist gestures that imply more than actually deliver, but suggesting a poetic and even a surprisingly sensual, folky melody. The final, title-piece adds more playfulness to the sparse aesthetics of this trio and letting this piece boil in its own gentle accord.

A promising debut of a trio that already sounds like a strong working band.

Eyal Hareuveni  

José Lencastre (as), Hernâni Faustino (b), Vasco Furtado (dr)

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