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Projects: Carlos Bica + Matéria-Prima

“Carlos Bica + Matéria-Prima” confirms Bica as one of Portugal’s most important jazz musicians and reaffirms his key role in the development of new perspectives for Portuguese jazz. The CD is packed with songs recorded at three memorable concerts in three memorable locations, Culturgest, Casa da Música and Museu do Oriente.

In this project, one of the most challenging of his career, Bica gives rein to his enormous talent as an arranger and songwriter, achieving a remarkable balance between folk elements and a unique vision for modern jazz. In eight original songs and two covers — one from Marc Ribot and a Ry Cooder classic, “Paris Texas” — all conceived as launching pads for improvisation, “Carlos Bica + Matéria-Prima” is a kaleidoscope of strong emotions and is a brilliant document of unique events.

For these concerts Bica, who is an established jazz bassist in Portugal and Berlin (he splits his time between Lisbon and Berlin), recruited three versatile Portuguese musicians, pianist João Paulo, guitarist Mário Delgado, and drummer João Lobo. To that stew he mixed in the young trumpeter Matthias Shriefl,a rising presence in the new German jazz. Together they expand Bica’s extraordinary musical universe, a constellation that spans jazz, blues, rock, pop and ambient music. This original sound world moves the listener through the landscapes of the great spaces, evoking artists as diverse as Ry Cooder, Michael Nyman, Radiohead, Carla Bley, Bill Frisell, and Tom Waits.

With a discography punctuated by such standout recordings as “Azul” (considered by many to be the “great” album of Portuguese jazz), “Believer” and “Single” (exceptional solo bass recording), Bica continues to innovate and surprise. Here he continues a multifaceted career that has led him to collaborate with artists such as Maria João, Carlos do Carmo, José Mário Branco, Camané, Pedro Caldeira Cabral, Janita Salomé, Ray Anderson, Kenny Wheeler, Aki Takase, Lee Konitz, Alexander von Schlippenbach , Albert Mangelsdorf, Joey Baron, Matthias Schubert, John Zorn, Paolo Fresu, and Markus Stockhausen, among many others.

What surprises him more than their individual qualities as musicians, he says, “is the emotional intelligence that distinguishes the different ways of telling a story through the raw material that sound is.”

Carlos Bica - double bass
Matthias Schriefl - trumpet, flugelhorn, melodica
João Paulo - piano, keyboards, accordion
Mário Delgado - electric guitar
João Lobo - drums, percussion

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