ONEIROS Clean Feed 2011

Susana Santos Silva trumpet, electronics

Gonçalo Almeida double bass, effects and loops

Greg Smith drums

The particularly dynamic and inventive Portuguese jazz scene has a new front with the trio LAMA.
Curiously enough, the project was born in Roterdam, where the double bassist and composer Gonçalo Almeida and the trumpeter Susana Santos Silva were at the time (2008) studying in the jazz department of the local conservatory. There, they met the Canadian drummer Greg Smith, who used to work in the nearby dance school. Acting in the frontier line between the “mainstream” and the so called avant-garde, “Oneiros” proposes a particular jazz vision for the 21st century, with an interesting use of electronics. The double bass is assisted by a pedal box, and Almeida likes to loop his rhythmic lines once in a while. The trumpet is sometimes digitally processed in real time, giving us different results than the ones presented by Santos Silva with her own quintet or the Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos. Both are distinctive figures of the Portuguese jazz circuits: Gonçalo Almeida as a member of the Luso-Italian quartet Tetterapadequ (still living in Holland, he plays also with Atos, Spinifex Quintet, and the Michal Osowsky Collective) and Susana
Santos Silva integrating the above mentioned big band, which performed and recorded with people like Lee Konitz, Carla Bley, John Hollenbeck, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner, Chris Cheek and Joshua Redman, among others. In his turn, Smith is a groove master, active in the International bands such as Colonel Red Live (England), Sandra St Victor’s Sinner Child (US/NL) and Kori Withers (US). Smith has also recorded and performed with NYC saxophonist David Binney. The main focus of the music here is in improvisation, and you’ll be surprised with how fantastic it sounds.

Press Quotes

“From the onset of “Alguidar,” the trio’s bold inventions make a cutting impression… In the end, it all comes down to musicians with complete facility on their instruments creating art through inventiveness….While there are shades of influences from the past and present, the trio successfully pulls off the hat trick by sounding totally unique while demanding respect with superlative musicianship. Oneiros is brilliant and distinguishable” Mark F. Turner, All About Jazz

“The pieces fit together so tightly that there’s hardly room for a wasted note, beat or breath as the musicians
move gracefully through the set of songs, nimbly riding the contours between structure and freedom.”Paul Acquaro, Free Jazz

“Lama’s jazz is innovative, avant-garde and outside conventions” Journal Hard Musica

“Lama, Oneiros: Let’s just call this avant-garde…An alluring set of dissonance and drive.
Also on the Clean Feed label, who smartly scooped up this trio up. RECOMMENDED” 17 Dots

“long beautiful trumpet calls, low and serene, over a sea of electronics and gentle rhythms…
Electronics swirl about in a desert wind… an animated journey… released on the excellent Clean Feed label, who has time again proven themselves unafraid to take chances with challenging recordings” Music is Good

“A democratic engagement modelled on structure and deft expressionism akin to a multi-colored water painting… contrasting loose movements, yearning lines, and efficient use of space… Lama is a band that imparts a signature voice due to an abundance of persuasive concepts and alternating frameworks” Glenn Astarita, Ejazz

“Terrifically enchanting trio. Dissonance and electronics and jazz for an album that’s sometimes amusing, sometimes hypnotic, and never dull. On the Clean Feed label, who is one of the strongest labels for modern jazz.”

“(…)a special trio. So special that they appear as one of the brightest stars of this first part of 2012. (…) the trio shines its own light, has a strongly defined personality, produces music that leaves you breathless, in which all possible references are blown dust into overtime to recompose sound.”

“The music is continually engaging, mining the familiar in oddly surprising ways and maintaining the dream theme of the title track throughout, even in the way it frames aggressive polyrhythmic interplay among the three musicians (…) The group’s identity is constructed in such shifts: Almeida and Santos Silva are both highly lyrical acoustic players, but the playful electronics actually make their sounds more personal. Smith continuously brings flexibility and an explosive immediacy to a music that is at once liberating and nostalgic” Stuart Broomer

“…music that permeates the boundaries of modern jazz or avant garde realm. “Oneiros” is the prime work of LAMA and sets high standards of creativity, and as well as paving the way for the works in the future.”  Thomas Y. Anggoro – Best of 2011:

Best Album 2011: “Oneiros”, Lama – Rui Eduardo Paes
Best Musician: Susana Santos Silva – Rui Eduardo Paes
Best Musician : Susana Santos Silva – João Martins
Best Album 2011: “Oneiros”, Lama – António Rubio
Best Album 2011: “Oneiros”, Lama – João Moço
Best Album 2011: “Oneiros”, Lama – Paulo Barbosa

all reviews at