Pedro Melo Alves & Jim Black 

— Conundrum cycle

Galeria Zé dos Bois

© Pedro Jafuno

For many of those who attended the Paredes de Coura Festival in 2003, one of the fondest memories, occasionally recalled in conversation, is that of a possessed Jim Black at the Carlos Bica e Azul concert on the Jazz na Relva stage. On an afternoon that left a lot of people not very attuned to jazz wondering if they were missing out on something, it was the American drummer’s free-wheeling delivery and inventiveness that left the deepest mark on the concert of the band he’s been with for over two decades with Carlos Bica and Frank Möbus. Since then, he has played in this country countless times, not only with this trio, but also as leader of AlasNoAxis, as part of Peter Evans’ quintet or solo. One of the most cherished drummers here – or anywhere, in fact – Black has always proved inexhaustible in rediscovering the instrument as a propulsive, melodic or textural force, aligning electro-acoustic symbiosis, pasts close to rock, the constant vertigo of fire music, rhythmic abstractions and the gracefulness of percussion, in a completeness full of vision, lyricism and energy. Throughout his fertile career, he has collaborated closely with musicians such as Tim Berne and Chris Speed and reappears here in the always risky collusion of the drum duo. This risk is assumed here as an open field for new revelations around the instrument. BS

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