Alexandre Frazão (d), Sérgio Carolino (tb), Mário Delgado (g)
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If picking a Bill Evans score (“Interplay”) was strange enough for a trio with no piano involved, you wouldn’t expect a jazz combo to play songs by the hard rock bands Black Sabbath (“Planet Caravan”) and Deep Purple (“The Mule”), but that’s what you’ll find in the new album by TGB, “Evil Things”. After all, nothing is really “normal” with the project formed by Sérgio Carolino, Mário Delgado and Alexandre Frazão, beginning with the instrumentation: tuba, guitars (also dobro) and drums. Even these musicians don’t have the usual profile of a “jazzman”. An internationally known virtuoso of the tuba family, Carolino dedicates most of his career to classical and symphonic music. One of the top guitarists of the Portuguese music scene, Delgado is an assumed heir of the Jimi Hendrix legacy. Also one of the master drummers in Portugal, Brazilian percussionist Frazão established his name in various musical idioms, from world music to drum ‘n’ bass. So, this is jazz not only with a twist, but several twists. Imaginative, contemporary, puzzling, and excellently played. Strongly rooted in the language of jazz, but always unexpected. Mário Delgado pays tribute to George Harrison in his composition titled with the name of the third Beatle, and he is in focus with an intriguing version of a theme (“Close Your Eyes”) played by the late Hank Garland, a country turned jazz star. Alexandre Frazão contributes with a composition remembering occultist writer Aleister Crowley, also called The Beast. There’s food for thought here, not only for the ears. This is the kind of record you can’t use as the soundscape of any other activity: you have to dive in it in order to assimilate everything.