Recommended: Joao Mortagua – “AXES”


On AXES, they all come out swinging.  This sextet session from João Mortágua features four saxophonists, and not a one of them is thinking ballad as they crank up their instruments.  The sextet is rounded out by two drummer-percussionists, and they ain’t looking to display a delicate side, either.  Each melody clears out a wide path, knocking over anything that gets in its way.  The distinguishing characteristics are to be discovered in the motion those melodies attain while going about their business.

“Afro Axe” unleashes a bit of a groove to get the feet moving and “Decablues” wrings out every last drop of pain from the soul.  “Robot” switches between a light bounce and a lumbering stomp.  “Bud Pets” bops its head around, sometimes striking with it.  “Pyramidal” is light on its feet, except when it isn’t.  And “Methall” kind of wants to rock out on the dance floor.  And no matter what form that motion takes, it’s plenty fun.

Yet another release on the Porta Jazz label that’s floating my boat.

Your album personnel:  João Mortágua (alto & soprano saxes), José Soares (alto sax), Hugo Ciríaco (tenor sax), Rui Teixeira (baritone sax), Alex Rodriguez-Lázaro (drums) and Pedro Vasconcelos (drums, percussion).

Released on Porta Jazz.

Listen to more of the album at the artist’s Bandcamp page.

Music from Porto, Portugal.

Available at:  Bandcamp