Recommended: MAP – “Guerra e Paz”


Every one of the melodies of Guerra e Paz shine with the brilliance of a star on a clear night.  But rather than simply feature them at the center of the album’s universe, the MAP quartet of Paulo Gomes treats them as launching pads to go exploring in directions that take them far far away from that enchanting intro.  And, thankfully, each time, the quartet returns home to that melody, so just as it made for a nifty launching pad, those lovely melodies also serve the dual role of landing point.  The return also provides a context for every bit of improvisation that fell in between, giving a sense of the distance traveled with solos and their proximity to the original melody… even if only through the barest hint of recognition.

Sometimes it manifests as an afternoon stroll through the park on title-track “Guerra e Paz” and sometimes it sticks to moonlit paths in the dead of night on “Norte,” and then there’s those moments where everything shatters to pieces on “Guernica” and “Guerra dos Mundos,” but in each instance an arresting melody is the foundation for the song’s imagery.

A seriously captivating album.

Your album personnel:  Paulo Gomes (piano), Miguel Moreira (guitar), Miguel Ângelo (acoustic bass) and Acácio Salero (drums).

Released on Porta Jazz.

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

Music from Portugal.

Available at:  Bandcamp