Mário Laginha Trio – Espaço (CF 090)
Espaco is a fine mainstream session that sounds indebted not only to the usual suspects—Keith Jarrett and Corea circa A.R.C.— but also to some more contemporary masters like Fred Hersch. It’s also got something of the antsy rhythmic sensibility heard from someone like Vijay Iyer. If this suggests a winning combination of vibrant improvisation and melody, that’s about right. From the excellent, bustling stuff heard on the opener—Laginha’s technique is pretty dazzling, but there’s nothing particularly show off-y about it—the disc charms. Part of this is because of the range of materials heard here. On the lovely ballad “Natural Bridge,” for example, the strong Corea vibe is still present but the most memorable aspect of the tune is the leader’s very subtle interplay with Moreira. “Paredes” is an extremely peppy piece, with a whip-crack groove equal parts Roy Haynes and Lenny White, and some Tristano-like improvisations spooling out from the funky core. “Baixo continuo”provides another great example of this group’s language, a complex rolling bass figure (shared by Monteira and Laginha) that is pried open and reassembled creatively. Nothing particularly radical about this disc, but it’s damn enjoyable.
©Cadence Magazine 2007 www.cadencebuilding.com