João Paulo – Memórias de Quem (CF 075)
Delivers a striking acoustic performance, albeit in a more rarefied setting. The pianist performs nine of his own compositions for solo piano (mi alma / ramagem / o incendio / durme / fantasmas / atraves / memorias de quem / soneto de Renato / ritspah. 56:24, Torres Novas, Portugal.) I can’t say to what extent these are through composed or improvised. I lean toward the composed side with some ad-libbed elaboration. Certainly, though, “fantasmas” with its insistent quick walking bass comes off as most spontaneous, and most like Jazz in quite a Tristano-like manner. Elsewhere several compositions draw on folk elements, Portuguese and Jewish (Sephardic?), to striking effect. “O incendio” is a raging affair and “soneto de Renato,” more meditative. In the end the timing of the inspiration matters little. This is a well-conceived, well-executed program of solo piano.