Mário Laginha Trio – Espaço (CF 090)
Commissioned by the Lisbon Architecture Triennale 2007, “Espaço” is more than a wonderful jazz piano trio record. Architecture is the motive sustaining this geometric but organic music: the idea of regular and irregular structures, continuous and discontinuous lines, plane or distorted surfaces, space and absence of space is transferred to the sound world, resulting in a unique opus about form and its contradictions. The aspects are many: street configurations in a city (“Tráfico,” or “Traffic” in English), claustrophobe (“Paredes Que Nos Rodeiam,” or “Surrounding Walls”), and emptiness (“Vazio Urbano,” or “Urban Void,” the theme of this year’s triennale). Portuguese pianist and composer Mário Laginha believes that there are points of contact between the two domains, some conceptual coincidences and even mutual references. And he’s right: architect-engineer-composer Iannis Xenakis once called music “liquid architecture,” and who could better understand that than him. Following Xenakis’ lead, many classical contemporary composers have drawn on architecture to inspire their creative output. But the influence of architecture on jazz composers (with the exception of Argentine Guillermo Gregorio) has been slight. This is new terrain for Laginha, one of the most respected and applauded musicians in Portugal. “You can say the music of this album isn’t very different from what I did before, and I hope not. But I can guarantee that, if it wasn’t the impulse of the architectural subject, it wouldn’t be what it is,” says Mário. With him are bassist Bernardo Moreira and drummer Alexandre Frazão, two essential names in Lisbon’s jazz scene. You won’t regret listening to this.