Sunday, March 23, 2014

Joao Hasselberg Whatever It Is You're Seeking, Won't Come In The Form You're Expecting Joao Hasselberg Sintoma 2013

The deconstructed vision of a giant in Portuguese jazz is a conceptual masterpiece of artistic integrity!
Brent Black /
Expect the unexpected, a lyrical bassist floating effortless above an almost autobiographical tale of lyrical delight. Organic, eclectic, and pure are all apt descriptions of a release that is free from compromise, pressure and all the undo influences that can divert the artistic focus. This is a look at the harmonic makeup of a brilliant global artist with more than enough talent to crack the isolationist American marketplace.
Whatever It Is You're Seeking Won't Come In The Form You're Expecting is from bassist Joao Hasselberg. I first became aware of Hasselberg thanks to his remarkable work on the Spyros Manesis trio recording Undelivered, a complete 180 degree flip from where we are now. There is a remarkable display of harmonic versatility as the compositions include originals, standards, and some standards. The musical collective assembled engages in organic conversations of melody and counterpoint with that three dimensional sonic depth of field that unites all parties as one harmonious train of lyrical thought. The inspiration here is diverse drawing on Terrance Blanchard, Debussy, and Ray LaMontagne along with twentieth century literary classics. Be they covers or inspired originals, the artistic voice is strictly that of Joao Hasselberg.
The listener can move from the more acoustic folk oriented "To A God Unknown" with stunning vocals from Joana Espadinha to the more subtle sophistication of "On The Road." The elegant beauty and flawless piano of Luis Figueiredo embrace "Um Amor De Perdicao." All ensemble cast members turn in A list performances. The compositions are diverse yet are magically transformed into bits and pieces of a beautiful mosaic of sound. Colors you can hear and feel.
A stunning release.
Tracks: In Cold Blood Intro; In Cold Blood; To A God Unknown; The Old Man And The Sea; The Folks Who Live On The Hill; A Wild Sheep Chase; Cancao De Embalar; The Diaries of Adam and Eve; The Ballad of The Sad Café; On The Road; A Wild Sheep Chase - Reprise; Um Amor De Perdicao.
Personnel: Luis Figueiredo: Piano; Bruno Pedroso: Drums; Ricardo Toscano: Sax; Diogo Duque: Trumpet; Joana Espadinha: Vocals; Joao Firmino: Guitar; Afonso Pais: Guitar; Joao Hasselberg: Bass.