Andre Carvalho group at Rockwood music hall - NYC, Oct 08

  • photography by Clara Pereira / text by Filipe Freitas

Andre Carvalho is a Portuguese bassist and composer with an attractive compositional voice well founded in the modern trends of jazz.
His performance at The Rockwood Music Hall, in the company of the altoist Will Vinson, tenorist and flutist Eitan Gofman, guitarist Andre Matos, and drummer Tommy Crane, proved exactly that.

The fabulous mood created during the expressive thematic melody of “The Trinita Kid” was further expanded when the soloists let their creativity flow.
Vinson, who owns a stunning, well-oriented language, resorted to a magnetic in-out concept to put us invariably alert. Then, it was Matos’ musical astuteness to speak louder as it opens space for Gofman, who wraps up after throwing in a few Coltrane-ish lines on the soprano saxophone.
In “The Bird Who Was Afraid to Fly”, the quality of the improvisations were preserved at the same time that the rhythm section, propelled by Crane’s unruly attacks, assured stability. This tune also featured Matos’ arrestingly atmospheric guitar sounds.

Mudmen’s Revenge”, played at a confident 6/8 meter, featured interesting interactions by the reedists, contrasting with “Relógio de Cuco da Tia Milu”, which brought a perspicacious sax-flute melodic line into the game with timely bass pedals altering the initial rhythm. Here, the audience could feel the restless Mr. Crane getting frantically polyrhythmic during Vinson’s solo.
Before closing with “Zenit(h)”, an elaborate tune driven by spontaneous bass lines and strokes of drumming technique, the quintet played “Eguffi”, a ballad whose dreamy tones gradually pushed us into an extended bass divagation.

Carvalho, who recorded two albums so far (“Hajime” and “Memórias de Amiba”), reveals cleverness in the way he composes. In addition to the pleasurability one can feel while absorbing melodies and grooves, there’s always a certain amount of ambiguity that floats in the air and keeps us focused on its textures.