Júlio Resende – Da Alma (CF 095)
“Da Alma” puts the spotlight on a fascinating Portuguese musician we might not otherwise have heard, were it not for the efforts of this label. Not a demonstrative player by any means, Resende loves to write and play long lines that jab, feint, and twist in on themselves. After the cracking opener, filled with tart expressions from the horns, the leader gets into some deep emotional grooves on “Deep Blue,” with close harmonies, bunched phrases, and tight intervallic work. “Move It!” has a mid-60s Herbie Hancock bounce, and is also shot through with racing Bud Powell lines (it’s also got a nice open-ended drum and tenor excursus in the middle). The simple cadences of Aimee Mann’s “Wise Up” seem to suit Resende’s slightly moody style, resulting in what sounds like a Metheny Band chart played by mid-70s Keith Jarrett. And the loose, funky “Um Dia de Ferias” is pleasing but not wholly substantial (despite some lusty tenor). A nice sleeper album.
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