Press: Carlos Bica & Azul - "Believer"
“The Magic of Composition”
For ten years double-bass player Carlos Bica’s trio Azul has fascinated
its listeners. Living in Berlin, Portuguese Bica again and again creates
a music that seems familiar yet excitingly transformed at the same time.
On their ten-year anniversary the trio on "Believer" once more
conjures their delicate balance between twinkle-toed poetry and a slightly
off-the-wall humor... Oftentimes the listener is not even aware of the
magic of the composition until the music has faded. However, there is
always a touch of irony breaking the magic, as well as some cool stings
delivered by the featured artist DJ Illvibe. The sound of the recording
matches the music: it is as much poetical as it is refreshingly natural.
Pure serenity and foresight. There is no need for anything else. In times
of a global fun society and arbitrariness (even in Jazz) it is good to
still have islands like the music of Carlos Bica and Azul.
“Believer”, the new album of the remarkable trio Azul, shines
neon blue and in a jazzy-melancholic way with ingenious spaces, telling
about the other side of the wind. These are songs without words, relaxed
soundscapes, whose mediterranean grooves are easily able to hold the balance
between dramatic and playful art… Music for eternity.
13 songs that fascinate in their sensual melancholia and radicalism that
pushes the boundaries. However, they also come across with such a familiarity
as if they were recordings of thriftily arranged evergreens… The
Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa once wrote: “Fado is neither joy
nor sadness, but the independent in-between.” This might be the
best-fitting description for one of the most touching albums of this year.
Melodic landscapes that could have come from Radiohead or Tortoise.
The magic of shaping.
The Portuguese Carlos Bica is not only a brilliant double-bass player,
he also represents a highly individual band concept…
As a guest on the turntables DJ Illvibe discretely maintains the secret
of the album's poetry.
Azul celebrate their ten-year anniversary with their excellent album
“Believer”. It is the kind of jazz that cannot be completed,
that searches and researches. It is therefore also much more precious
– since it passes hills and valleys, oceans and tides without settling
down – jazz without limits.
Carlos Bica did it again.
“The movie that needs to be made”
Is it correct to call Carlos Bica a jazz musician? Perhaps this label
is unsufficient, and “Believer”, one of the best albums of
the year 2006, provides the evidence. The starting point: Carlos Bica
is one of the best Portuguese double-bassists and has formed the trio
Azul with two brilliant musicians, Frank Möbus and Jim Black. “Believer”
starts from jazz and sets sails to unlikely destinations: From rock via
drum'n'bass to blues, the variety is enormous. Melodic worlds blend with
carefully modelled scenarios. The overall result is a vast landscape Carlos
Bica’s double-bass is leading us through. DJ Illvibe appears as
a special guest, contributing to five songs with his turntables. Songs?
– Exactly; for the structures Carlos Bica has built are so clear
they could as well be accompanied with lyrics and voice. On “Believer”
Carlos Bica proves his potency as a contemporary composer and far exceeds
the limits of music. For this reason he not accidentally designed one
of the best Portuguese albums of the year.
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