By Mark Corroto
I’m assuming that the Twenty One 4Tet recording Live At Zaal was conceived as a one-off deal, with Portuguese trumpeter Luis Vicente visiting Amsterdam-based players John Dikeman, Wilbert De Joode and Onno Govaert. This concert, from September 2015, finds Vicente combining his impressive craftsmanship with three like-minded players.
Then again, it might be just part of Vicente’s revolving, maybe a better word “evolving,” sound world. Of late, he has collaborated with the French/Portuguese quartets Deux Maisons For Sale (Clean Feed, 2015) and Chamber 4, the Finnish electronics artist Jari Marjamäki, and in his own Portuguese trio and quartet. His explorations in free jazz begin with Donald Ayler before weaving Don Cherry into the same vocabulary he shares with Nate Wooley. The trumpeter is also a member of guitarist Jasper Stadhouders’ International Improv Ensemble.
Stadhouders shares the stage in take-no-prisoners Cactus Truck with fellow Dutchman, drummer Onno Govaert and American saxophonist John Dikeman. Let’s say that was the connection for Vicente’s performance here. On hand to to complete the sound is legendary bassist Wilbert de Joode, who has collaborated with everyone from Ken Vandermark, to Eric Boeren, and the anarcho-punk band The Ex.
The four tracks here open with “Red Moon,” and an unceremonious bowed bass, rattle drums, and two horn invocation. As the players get their footing here, they signal to the audience this music will be imperturbable, tempered, and thought- provoking. Vicente’s open sound gives way to the Albert Ayler-sounding bacchanalian saxophone of Dikeman. The tumult, though, is never overcooked here. Credit goes to the quartet; the parts are well balanced with De Joode’s gorgeous bowed bass and the hyperkinetic cymbal work of Govaert. The quietus of “Undertow,” with its stuttering momentum, injects short, sharp, shots of sound, contrasted with the eruptions of “Vesuvius.” Here, the band ups the ante with a show of muscle before settling into an almost peaceful ending.
We can only hope there is more to come from this outfit.