Sunday, January 14, 2007

Carlos Barretto - Lokomotiv

Wanna hear something else? Free jazz from Portugal. Carlos Barretto is a bass player who has played with Steve Lacy, Mal Waldron and Barry Altschull. On Lokomotiv, he is accompanied by Mario Delgado on electric guitar and José Sagueiro on drums. The French François Corneloup on baritone sax is a guest player on half the pieces. This is not entirely free jazz, rather modern creative, whatever that means. Delgado's guitar gives the music a fusion feel, but nothing more than just a touch of it.
The album starts very strong, with a panting bass, an hesitant guitar, slight drum rolls and the baritone sax really sets the thing going and once they're all on board, the rhythm changes, a short break, a panting bass and we're gone again (real locomotive stuff). Eirò is more subdued, again with a long and complex bass-line, against which the distorted guitar starts to react, first with sounds and noises rather than music, supported by a funking drums, to suddenly burst open into a pumping unisono guitar/arco bass rendition of the theme, just to set off again into free territory. The fourth song starts with nervous guitar work worthy of Robert Fripp, followed by very slow arco bass and baritone sax, to change into a strong funky duel between sax and drums. You get the picture : lots of surprises, unexpected changes in melody and rhythm, lots of contrasts and all this without sounding artificial. A joy to listen to.

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