Monday, May 1, 2017

Carlos Bica & Azul, More Than This, with Frank Mobus and Jim Black

A bass player led trio? Yes. Carlos Bica steps out with a loose-tight offering that puts forth a trio of distinction. Bica's eloquent acoustic bass pairs with a great feel from guitarist Frank Mobus and the ever-strong drumming of Jim Black. It is, to give it its proper name, Carlos Bica & Azul on an album called More Than This (Clean Feed 398).

What gets this one your ear is a sort of semi-spooky spaciness and electricity of the Mobus guitar (something with roots perhaps of Frisell, Abercrombie, and the like but also a distinct personal edginess), the post Eberhard Weber, rich-toned bass thoughtfulness of Bica and the open inventiveness of Black's drumming.

These are nicely wrought pieces, mostly written by Bica, who takes care that he forwards the sound with melodic leads that have gorgeous harmonic fleshing out by Mobus as called for. Or alternately Mobus handles the melodic head only perhaps to then hand it on to Bica.

It is both edgy and lyrical, sometimes both at once. There are nice solo moments to hear throughout and a kind of open jazz-rock-space zone that attracts magnetically if you listen properly.

This is hugely pleasurable music from Bica and a beautiful trio. I strongly suggest you listen!

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