Portuguese guitarist Marcelo dos Reis and trumpeter Luís Vicente are leading figures in the local, free music scene. They first crossed paths in the middle of 2009 at a jazz festival in Evora. A few months later, they played together for the first time during a Portuguese tour. 14 years later. more than a hundred performances together, dozen of tours recording eleven albums – with the Cahmber 4, Fail Better!, In Layers, Frame Trio and more – and dos Reis and Vicente feel that only now they reached an understanding of their relationship as a duo.
In January 2022, dos Reis and Vicente did a 4-day residency at Gremio Operário de Coimbra where they were inspired to dive deeply and find their voice as a duo. (Un)Prepared Pieces for Guitar and Trumpet is the outcome of this magical residency, recorded on one day with all the music composed and improvised by Vicente and do Reis, but all remain untested until the recording, except one piece, «Cornelia», composed dos Reis.
(Un)Prepared Pieces for Guitar and Trumpet is one of the rare albums that grabs your attention from its first notes until the very last ones. And it is not only due to the obvious, intimate and profound rapport of Viecente and dos Reis and the deep listening demonstrated in this recording session but thanks to the sheer beauty of their distinct musical language. They know how to evoke suggestive stories with a few, reserved ideas, articulated in unconventional but precise manners, with remarkable command of their respective instruments’ timbral range and with economic but imaginative usage of extended techniques. Each piece sketches its own emotional world and introduces more colors and nuances to their rich language, while the dynamics of dos Reis and Vicente sound fresh, embracing risks, but with no attempt to exercise acrobatic and virtuoso tricks.
The lyrical beauty of «Cornelia» may be the most engaging and emotional piece here and «Rotterdam at Night» has a minimalist, dream-like, hypnotic pulse, but the playful and subversive game of extended techniques in «The Gray Car» reflects the adventurous, rare musical vision of these gifted musicians and improvisers. And beauty is indeed a rare thing.
Luís Vicente (trumpet), Marcelo dos Reis (electric guitar)