Hugo Carvalhais double bass, electronics / Gabriel Pinto piano syntesizer / Mário Costa drums / Tim Berne alto saxophone
Hugo Carvalhais, Gabriel Pinto, and Mário Costa are representatives of a remarkable new generation of Portuguese jazz musicians. Rather than the nice, but modest, debut recording you might expect, “Nebulosa” delivers beautiful, wonderfully played, inspiring music. Just hearing these up-and-comers was enough to convince American alto saxophonist Tim Berne to join the project. Although many young jazz musicians rely on the standards they learn in jazz conservatories or, at best, imitate their heroes, Carvalhais presents his own personal vision, revealing a surprising maturity both as a contrabassist and a composer. Pinto is an inventive pianist and his synthesizer solos can sound horn-like, belying the prejudice that electronic instruments are cold and can’t be made to swing. Costa grooves as if his life depended on it. These three guys clearly have a promising future. Berne absorbed the youthful enthusiasm of his partners and the result is a unstoppable force. This is one of the most remarkable recordings from Portugal’s growing, and dynamic, jazz scene.