Thursday, May 27, 2010

Carlos Bica: New Jazzed-Rock From Portugal

Carlos Bica is an excellent bassist. He can bow with the best of them and his pizzicato soloing is always interesting. But he also can write well and puts together a sterling jazzed-rock congregation on his new Carlos Bica and Materia Prima (Clean Feed) CD. The band has Mario Delgado on electric guitar who contributes much to the ensemble sound and solos with taste. Keyboard/accordionist Joao Paulo does good work as well. Matthias Schriefl is perhaps the best soloist of the lot; his trumpet/fluegelhorn gets funky with a plunger mute or just glides nicely as a straight horn.

This is a group sound and they show remarkable poise on this series of live dates. The music is very enjoyable and has some real Euro-Portuguese flavored charm. The arrangements really are what puts this one over the top. Materia-Prima has considerable subtlety for an ensemble that mostly keeps in a jazzed-rock mode. Kudos for Mr. Bica!

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