Album Review

Miguel, Sei – “Esfingico: Suite For a Jazz Combo” – [Clean Feed]

Thurston Hunger   7/9/2013   CD, Jazz

2010 release on the excellent Portugese label Clean Feed, featuring
Brazilian import Sei Miguel. The language still works as does his
artistic connection to his wife and bandmate Fala Mariam on the
trombone. Sei himself works the pocket trumpet, and fellow countryman
(and no stranger to KFJC) Rafael Toral is on electronics. On many
of the tracks Toral is the dominant force, creating a canvas that
already has a lot of color on it. Mostly of the galactic effects
variety. he’s excellent on the last cut. Pedro Lourenco on electric
bass is doing a sort of sloth crossing a busy freeway move, one
steady step at a time. But I dug the flame fanning of acoustic bass
he brought 9+ minutes in on “Indagacao.” Cesar Burago on percussion is
very sparse, even at his most rhythmic on “Passaros” he’s keeping all
toe-tappers off balance. Rightly so. His tuned percussion on the 14+
minute “Estas as Palavras” speaks well with Mariam’s trombone. On
that piece he later moves to some dry hand drum rub that’s pretty
tasty. Overall, a consistent form of pointillist improv in my ears,
but evidently Sei is a guiding hand on the score direction and pushing
30 years so!?! Not as old as the Sphynx reference by the title, but a
powerful puzzler.

-Thurston Hunger

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