Nau Quartet w/ Pedro Carneiro

Zé dos Bois Gallery

© Nuno Martins

Released in July last year by the increasingly active Phonogram Unit, ‘Thoughts Are Things’, the record that brought together José Lencastre’s Nau Quartet and percussionist Pedro Carneiro, had not yet had the honor of a public presentation. A gap now finally filled with this appearance at Aquário. Bravo. A piece of accurate movements on the board of classical and contemporary composition – invited soloist in several orchestras, monograph by Xenakis recorded at ECM, artistic director and conductor of the Portuguese Chamber Orchestra, a CV of respect – Carneiro has been recently entering more and more frequently into fields related to jazz – ‘Kinetic Études’ with Rodrigo Pinheiro or ‘Bad Company’ with Pedro Melo Alves – bringing all his mastery on the marimba to the free and fluid speech of the quartet.

Led by saxophonist José Lencastre, the Nau Quartet already has some years of discreet but valiant running, with four albums in existence and more or less irregular appearances given the busy lives of its members. They are all people who are familiar with jazz and improvisation. Hernâni Faustino is a recurrent presence on this stage and with good reason: a reference bass player to understand what is going on in those fields. Rodrigo Pinheiro is a long-time companion of the latter in the late lamented(?) RED Trio and has applied a growing sensibility and vision to the piano both in openly jazz contexts and in the incatalogable meanderings of Creative Sources. The Lencastre brotherhood has been a driving force on several fronts, with each brother following his own path unperturbed and having here a common haven of familiar communion between the alto sax of leader José and the always expressive drums of João. Melodic lines that expand and resolve themselves in the same progression, between classicism, liberation and the constant expectation that jazz can, and should, still have. BS

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