A saxophone, an accordion, a double bass and a pair of turntables… and Beethoven?
The «romantic» and especially melodic approach of Carlos Bica, who draws on jazz, classical music and the popular tradition of Portugal; the elegant and very free speech of Daniel Erdmann, built on the jazz tradition but committed to finding new paths; the many colors summoned by DJ Illvibe (Vincent von Schlippenbach), a prospector looking for the craziest fragments of sounds; the fascinating musicality of João Barradas, one of the most highly regarded and recognized European accordionists, capable of embracing the most diverse musical languages — this is the unusual cast that sets out to rediscover Beethoven’s legacy.
Carlos Bica is one of the names in Portuguese jazz with the greatest projection across borders. He learned to play the double bass at the Academia dos Amadores de Música, Lisbon, and at the Würzburg Music Academy, Germany. He was a member of the Lisbon Chamber Orchestra, as well as of several German chamber orchestras, such as the Bach Kammerorchester and the Wernecker Kammerorchester. He made a lot of improvised music, worked and recorded in the area of Portuguese popular music with Carlos do Carmo, José Mário Branco, Camané to name just a few, and collaborated with musicians such as Ray Anderson, Kenny Wheeler, Aki Takase, Kurt Rosenwinkel, John Zorn, Lee Konitz, Mário Laginha, Maria João, Mathias Schubert, Claudio Puntin, João Paulo Esteves da Silva, Gebhard Ullmann, David Friedman, Alexander von Schlippenbach, John Ruocco. Among the various musical projects he leads, in addition to interventions in areas such as dance, theater and cinema, his trio AZUL with Frank Möbus and Jim Black, and more recently the trio „I Am The Escaped One“ with DJ Illvibe on turntables and Daniel Erdmann on saxophone, contribute to make the double bass player and composer a reference in the European Jazz scene.
Daniel Erdmann was born in Wolfsburg, Germany. He has been playing the saxophone since 1983 and did his studies in the Jazz class of the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, in his adopted city of Berlin. Following a grant from the Franco-German High Cultural Council, he moved in 2001 to Paris and later to Reims, where he created the Franco-German cultural association DAS ATELIER. With musicians Théo Ceccaldi and Jim Hart, he founded the group Velvet Revolution, whose debut album on BMC Records won the annual German critics’ prize and an Echo Jazz. He was elected “European Musician of the Year 2019” by the Académie du Jazz in Paris, received the “SWR Jazzpreis 2020” and the “Deutscher Jazzpreis” in 2021.
DJ Illvibe, artist name of Vincent von Schlippenbach, was born in Berlin and is the son of the famous free jazz pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach. Having learned to play several instruments since childhood, Illvibe became interested in the world of DJing at the age of 14. He started using the turntable and its discs as a musical instrument while a member of the Hip Hop project Lychee Lassi. Manipulating sounds almost at will, working on them live, stretching and shortening, cutting and pasting them again to reach whole musical universes within a single loop or bar, with a single note, he always manages to give improvisational sessions a new musical direction.
Illvibe is not a sentimental record collector, he simply uses his Vinyl records, he takes what he finds on them — he works with them. When IIlvibe opens his suitcase of records, he finds the entire universe of music in it. Big voices, solo instruments, whole orchestras, kicks, snares and bass drums or Tibetan diphonic singing.
João Barradas is among the most renowned European accordionists, moving in the scenes of classical music, jazz and improvised music. He won several prestigious international competitions for his instrument in the field of classical music; the World Accordion Trophy (CMA), the Coupe Mondale de Acordeon (CIA), the International Competition of Castelfidardo and the Okud Istra International Competition stand out in this list. In the field of classical music, several composers wrote pieces for solo accordion for him, which he performed in dozens of world premieres. In Jazz, his performance began in 2016 when he recorded “Directions”, an album produced by Saxophonist Greg Osby for the North American Inner Circle Music, considered one of the albums of the year by Downbeat magazine.Named ECHO Rising Star by the European Concert Hall Organization for the 2019/2020 season, the prestigious BBC Music Magazine also distinguished him that same season as one of its Rising Stars. In 2020, João Barradas won the 2nd prize of the SPA|/Antena 2 Composition Competition with his work “The Edge of the Sea” for Symphony Orchestra.
All compositions by Carlos Bica except: „Ritterballett“ by João Paulo E. da Silva and Carlos Bica, “Für Nikolaus Johann van Beethoven“ by João Barradas, “Kids See Ghosts Sometimes“ by DJ Illvibe | All compositions after Ludwig van Beethoven
Recorded by Nelson Carvalho at Cineteatro Louletano, Loulé, 15-17 December 2022 | Mixed and mastered by Johannes Feige at WoAnderland Studio, Berlin, May 2023
Produced by Carlos Bica | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos | Photo by Maria Bicker | Cover painting by Carlos Borges
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