By Tim Niland
Garden is an adventurous collective trio recording featuring Bruno Parrinha on alto and soprano saxophones as well as clarinet, Luis Lopes on electric guitar and Ricardo Jacinto on cello and electronics. The music is skillful, often subdued improvisation, of a very restrained order, and yet seeming loose, despite the control. “1351” has very light peals of breathy saxophone with the barest scrapes of cello and guitar as deep cover accompaniment. The music is spare and abstract, never rushing for a conclusion or resolution. There is a quiet air of ominousness at times, as if all is not as it seems. There are long drones of pure sound juxtaposed against scrapes and clangs, as the electronics frames and challenges the music. Smears of electric and acoustic instruments create a unique sound field. Slabs of sound weave in and out on “1402,” like transmissions from a lost spacecraft. The musical terrain is ever changing with its raw nature continuing to challenge as sparks of guitar and cello arc across the music. “555” offers gentle guitar sounds with quiet sighs of saxophone and clarinet while plucked cello adds a bass like momentum. There is exciting raw free saxophone on “516” with cycling electronics becoming more prominent. The music is unfettered and powerful, the squeaks and pops of the electronics and strings engage with the raw and powerful reed playing played in a skillful manner. The music becomes enchanting and hypnotic with a wide mix of sounds coming to the listener. “1030” has burbles of clarinet and sparks of electricity and the musicians show how deeply attuned their listening skills are, playing at a very high level and allowing the trio to improvise collectively creating a haunting landscape around them. Things are getting a little wilder on “744,” with sawed cello and snarling guitar creating a release for all of the tension that has been building in the previous selections. The long dawn out enthralling sounds on this track are emblematic of the album as a whole, a fascinating endeavor.