Over the years, the maestro and percussionist Pedro Carneiro, one of the world’s most renowned marimba players, has balanced his work in the field of erudite music with an increasingly acknowledged move towards free improvisation. After various collaborations in small ensembles led by Carlos “Zíngaro”, Carneiro is now showing his virtuoso talent in duos with Pedro Melo Alves and, in this case, pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro (RED Trio). Kinetic Études, an album which they recorded for Phonogram Unit, documents a collaboration that is so elegant and performatively precious that it would appear to have been written rather than the result of a spontaneous improvisation in which two musical figures toy with each other with no clear plan in mind.
Seven Storey Mountain is the project the North American trumpeter Nate Wooley created in 2007 as a seven-part series inspired by the autobiography of the monk and writer Thomas Merton. The growth of this project has led to increasingly ambitious creations far from the world we recognise in his role as one of the most exciting instrumentalists performing today. In this sixth chapter of the series, Wooley constructs a piece that challenges simplistic definitions. Its many layers give it a complexity, but it occupies a place nearer to liturgical music in the sound spectrum than jazz. When performed live, it is said to awaken the emotions. There is no getting away from it.
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