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Projects: Azul

"Definitely one of the hottest breezes blowing these days."

Line-up: Carlos Bica (bass) Frank Möbus (electric guitar) Jim Black (dr, perc)

Their debut "Azul" earned delighted reviews everywhere and was voted Jazz Album of the Year in Portugal. The band played big European festivals (e.g. Lissabon, Berlin, Nuremberg) and did several radio productions. Bridging Portuguese roots with creative freedom à la Knitting Factory, Azul gives a new and airy definition of guitar trio aesthetics.

Azul's Double bass player and composer Carlos Bica is among the most prolific and innovative sound artists of Portugal where he was voted "Jazz Musician of the Year" in 1998. Also featuring Frank Möbus on guitar, one of Europe's leading guitarists and leader of the band Der Rote Bereich, and Seattle-born Jim Black on drums who brings in some Knitting Factory adventure, the band delivers a fresh and funny, naughty and original mixture of ironical guitar rock, refined modern jazz and transformed folk elements that come out of Portuguese, Sephardic and North African origins.

"Look What They've Done To My Song" is the follow-up to Azul's widely acclaimed best-selling albums "Twist" and "Azul" that earned delighted reviews everywhere. In 1996, "Azul" was voted Jazz Album of the Year in Portugal. Three years later, the trio recorded the follow-up "Twist" which became equally successful. "Believer" is Azul's fourth album celebrating this Portuguese-German-American band's 10th anniversary. As visionary and sophisticated as its predecessors, the new album in addition features the turntablism of DJ Illvibe (aka Vincent von Schlippenbach).


Frank Möbus

Frank Möbus, born 1966, studied guitar and composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts (USA). He is one oft he leading European jazz guitarrists and leader of the group “Der Rote Bereich”, that has published seven albums up to now and could be seen on many jazz festivals in Europe and the US.

Frank Möbus is director of the “Institut für Neue Musik” and teaches Jazz-guitar and Jazz-improvisation at the Hochschule für Musik Franz-Liszt Weimar.

mehr Info: www.frankmoebus.de


Jim Black

Jim Black has been playing drums for twenty-three years. Born in 1967, he grew up in Seattle, WA, playing music ranging from garage rock to big band swing. In 1985 he went to Boston, MA to attend the Berklee College of Music. During this time he recorded numerous albums, performed in Europe and taught summer classes at Berklee. In 1991 he moved to Brooklyn, NY, and has since become one of the most in demand drummers in the jazz/new music scene today.

In addition to co-leading and composing for the groups Pachora, AlasNoAxis and Human Feel, Jim records and tours extensively with diverse groups including Ellery Eskelin, Chris Speed's Yeah No, Tim Berne's Bloodcount, Dave Douglas' Tiny Bell Trio and Uri Caine's Mahler and Bach Projects, and Laurie Anderson.

more info: www.jimblack.com


Video

Here you can look at two short videos of Carlos Bica & Azul:

Carlos Bica & Azul - "Password" (Video), 13 MB

Carlos Bica & Azul - "Azul é o mar" (Video), 18 MB


This is what the critics wrote:

"Azul has a great spectrum – not at least because the musicians represent very different musical cultures thanks to their origins. This results in an emotionally stamped searching for new sounds"
(A Capital, Portugal)

"Each member of the trio is exciting as a soloist, accompanist and musical painter. Fusion sounds are locked out. Nevertheless (or just because of that) the music sounds fresh, unused and – beautiful"
(Zitty, Germany)

"The musicians dare to leave open spaces – one of the most obvious strenghts of the trio. Southern lightness, highly energetic density, humorous playfulness, dramatical heaviness – all that comes together for a stimulating palette of blue shades"
(Jazzthetik, Germany)

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