Alípio C Neto Quartet – The Perfume Comes Before the Flower
Brazilian saxophonist/composer Alipio C. Neto has been working the Portuguese free-jazz scene for a few years now, but performs with three prominent New York-based jazz acolytes on this vibrant new outing. Layered, boisterous and operating from a nicely in-your-face impetus, the music spans avant-garde New Orleans second line jazz (featuring tubaist Ben Stapp) amid frenetic and kaleidoscopic movements. Here, Neto and trumpeter Herb Robertson’s plaintive cries ride atop semi-structured arrangements and garrulous, group-centric free improvisational maneuvers.
Sparks are flying everywhere throughout. The ensemble generally engages in climactic theme and story-building exercises as they inject a sense of drama into works that are often framed by powerhouse drummer Michael T.A. Thompson’s asymmetrical beats. Featuring regimented horns-led choruses and elements of pathos and wit, the musicians even fuse some off-kilter world music motifs into the mix. Then in other regions of this disc they abide by a jittery and somewhat neurotic gait via animated phrasings and periodic moments of angst. On “la réalité – dancing cosmologies,” Stapp’s pumping tuba lines accelerate a jagged, New Orleans brass band motif, marked by Neto and Robertson’s torrid solo spots. Either way, Neto casts a worldly spell during the preponderance of this most intriguing set.