Govaert, Reis, Vicente, Martinsson – In Layers (4 stars)

A multi-layered, collaborative album from talented improvisational quartet

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Govaert, Reis, Vicente, Martinsson – In Layers

Portugal is home to one of the freshest contemporary jazz scenes in Europe, with musicians such as Susana Santos Silva, Rodrigo Amado and Gabriel Ferrandini making waves internationally. A creative summit between emergent Portuguese and Dutch players, In Layers brings together trumpeter Luis Vicente and guitarist Marcelo dos Reis with drummer Onno Govaert and pianist Kristjan Martinsson. Weaving melodic fragments and rhythmic patterns into their investigations of timbre, texture and tone, the four musicians achieve a fine balance between abstraction and form. Reis and Vicente are highly distinctive, with the former adding flamenco flourishes to his deconstructed chords, and the latter offering a stream of bleats, snuffles and muted fanfares. The inventive Govaert generates a great deal of energy around resonant metallic tones, while Martinsson adds vivid colour and rhythm with his busy clusters and graceful repetitions. Anything but run-of-the-mill, In Layers breathes new life into European free improvisation.

Out now on FMR Records.

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