Jun 6 2018
The motion is where it’s at on the latest from drummer João Lencastre. Whether it’s a series of free improvisations or a rendition of Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman,” Lencastre creates rhythmic flurries that are positively captivating. It’s a very in the moment kind of thing. The pieces of Movements in Freedom don’t ever evince a sense of shape or cohesion… except in the present moment, when everything feels interconnected and everything sounds like it falls into its right place.
Pianist Jacob Sacks is the melodic flame lit by Lencastre’s spark, and the light it produces is lively and gorgeous and enchanting. Bassist Eivind Opsvik has long displayed a talent for adding color and tones to the melody while providing texture to the rhythm. In the trio format, and on an album so wide open for improvisation, he’s really able to shine with an abundance of activity and still have plenty of room for nuance and subtlety. And most of these pieces are improvisations, which really makes the cohesion-in-the-moment trait so much more impressive. All of that space to move around in and wander, a sense of the limitless horizon, and yet the trio remains insanely focused on the motion of the moment.
The rhythmic flurries are symbolic of the album’s strength, but when silence permeates a pieces, as it does on “Walk on Clouds,” the music is no less enchanting. It’s just a different type of conjuring performed by the trio. Opsvik adding bass arco plays no small part in the music’s spellbinding nature.
I really enjoyed Lencastre’s 2014 release What Is This All About? (on Auand Records). It had a boozy demeanor, loose and unfocused in the best of ways, where the music’s unpredictability informed both the motion and melody. Then, too, like on his newest, Lencastre has a way on drums of giving a whisper the force of a shout. It is the way the calm before the storm contains an electricity as highly charged as when the sky comes pouring down, but delivered with a soothing calm that draws you right in to the center of things.
A seriously beautiful album.
Your album personnel: João Lencastre (drums), Jacob Sacks (piano) and Eivind Opsvik (bass).
Released on Clean Feed Records.
Listen to more of the album on the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Music from Lisbon, Portugal.
And definitely check out Lencastre’s 2014 release What Is The All About? It features an entirely different line-up. Sacks is on piano, but the ensemble also has David Binney, Phil Grenadier, André Matos, Thomas Morgan, Sara Serpa and more.