In a paused counter-current with the more or less assumed cult of mediatism and overexposure, João Lobo is in the calm one of the most interesting and graceful drummers operating on European soil. Without sticking to any specific language – even if jazz is the portal, there is also rock or experimentalist attacks – he absorbs from these and other, different forms, states, and sensibilities that allow him to face his own music with knowledge and smart naturality. A regular collaborator of Giovanni Giudi or Enrico Rava, and a member of the fleeting Dream & Drone Orchestra, he has had a passionate and meaningful cumplíce in Norberto Lobo, materialized in ‘Mogul de Jade’ and on Oba Loba’s album.
Hugging again the Lisbon guitarist for his second album in his own name, after a courageous soloist incursion full of texture and lyricism in ‘Nowruz’, Lobo expands his vocabulary to a pyramid formation where bassist Soet Kempeneer runs. Recorded in a residence at the renowned Les Ateliers Claus in Brussels, and edited in a partnership with the Portuguese Shhpuma, ‘Simorgh’ is, for lack of a better reference and with all the openness it may imply, a fusionist jazz of good as we often refuse to accept that it exists. Groove, exaltation, and high spirits, in an uncomplicated plot and constant valence, in continuous movement. Guitar passages through the fire, primordial swing, contemplation, and fleeting but always luminous memories of the electric Miles Davis, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, some electrified folk. The right beat. BS