All Reviews at www.cleanfeed.wordpress.com/tag/lama
Metamorphosis (Clean feed 2017)
**** Review on DOWNBEAT by Peter Margasak
Metamorphosis (Clean feed 2017)
by Stewart Smith on THE WIRE magazine
Metamorphosis (Clean feed 2017) on Salt Peanuts by Eyal Hareuveni
Metamorphosis» captures the spirit of the fourth album of the LAMA trio. The trio – led by prolific Portuguese double bassist Gonçalo Almeida with fellow-Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva and Canadian drummer Greg Smith hosts for the second time Belgian clarinet player Joachim Badenhorst, following the expanded LAMA album, «The Elephant’s Journey» (Clean Feed, 2015). The trio-turned-quartet explores now electro-acoustic territories on Almeida’s three-part suite «Metamorphosis». On this complex 36-minutes suite Almeida adds loops and effects and some keyboards to his bass and Smith’ extends his percussive work with his laptop electronics. This sonic approach of the expanded LAMA shifts from the supposedly clean, acoustic-chamber format into an unsettling, dark soundscapes, full of dirty and distorted, otherworldly sounds. The expanded arsenal of sounds enables all the four musicians to refresh and distil their vocabularies, expanding the acoustic timbres and investigating experimental palette of processed and sampled sounds. On the first part of the «Metamorphosis» suite Santos Silva and Badenhorst develop slowly the fragile, playful East-European them, sometimes sounding as quoting ideas from John Zorn’s early Masada book, through the nuanced, fractured soundscape of Almeida and Smith. On the second part Santos Silva set the tense and intense atmosphere with her urgent, searching interplay, colored sparsely by Almeida and Smith. Only on the last part the quartet balances between the strong melodic sensibilities of Santos Silva and Badenhorst and the rhythmic inventions of Almeida and Smith. Badenhorst’s short «Comacina Dreaming» uses the electronic effects and loops to sketch a mysterious cinematic piece. This piece highlights, again, the natural, immediate interplay that Badenhorst – now on the bass clarinet – has solidified with Santos Silva. Smith’s also short «Dark Corner» sound as logical conclusion of Badenhorst piece, but suggests a different equilibrium the ethereal-melodic blows and whispers of Santos Silva and Badenhorst and the weird-sounding, ritualistic pulse of Almeida and Smith.
Metamorphosis (Clean feed 2017) on Gapplegatemusicreview.blogspot
Monday, september 25
The world of Portuguese new music-avant jazz is a most fertile one. I have been happy to cover it increasingly over the years. It surely forms one of the more vibrant and varied, innovative and original scenes out there today. An especially rewarding outfit is that of LAMA, which if you type their name into the search box above you will see I have been reviewing on a regular basis for some time. The latest, Metamorphosis (Clean Feed 433) brings into the fold once again clarinetist-bass clarinetist Joachim Badenhorst for a rather riveting set. LAMA itself consists of Susana Santos Silva on trumpet, Goncalo Almeida on double bass, keys, effects and loops, and Greg Smith on drums and electronics. The music combines compositionally directed and free improv sounds in very logical and earthy ways. Of the five segments as recorded at Jazzcase last January, three are by Almeida, and one each are by Badenhorst and Smith. Ms. Silva has ubiquity and strength on trumpet; Badenhorst counters with his own clarinet-family gumbo. The rhythm-electronics team of Almeida and Smith bring a huge presence to the music conceptually and personality-wise. They are a big reason why everything hangs together while it expands outwards continually. I cannot do proper justice to the music using the words at hand to me this Monday morning. That would take a great deal more effort, because this is not easily categorized. It is new, involved, evolved and free yet carefully thought-out. What is important is in the hearing, after all. And so I do heartily recommend you hear this one repeatedly. It is much a thing to absorb you and give some meaning to what is the modern now. Take it on seriously and you will be the richer for it.
Metamorphosis (Clean feed 2017) on Free Form Free Jazz by Fabricio Vieira
15 September 2017
New chapter of the partnership between the Lama Trio – formed by the Portuguese Gonçalo Almeida (bass) and Susana Santos Silva (trumpet) alongside the Canadian Greg Smith (drums) – and the Belgian clarinetist Joachim Badenhorst, Metamorphosis is like a continuation of the previous “The Elephant’s Journey”, 2015, but that deepens such experience. Recorded in January 2016 at JazzCase in Neerpelt, Belgium, Metamorphosis new tracks point to curious directions, with electronic interventions gaining more prominence – elements that come from two fronts, led by Almeida (effects and loops) and Smith (electronic). The electro acoustic experience created generates different and heady climatic results, well represented in the opening theme (“Metamorphosis 1”), in which the winds wander over pulsars that create a very special space that lasts until half of the theme when drums and bass dive into something more jazzy, towards a very noisy end. “Metamorphosis 2” makes a different game, starting in the acoustic space and suffering electro, more punctual interference in its nucleus. The free jazz potentiality is well represented in “Metamorphosis 3”, marked by the contagious bass of Almeida. Already “Dark Corner”, which closes the record, seems to resume more clearly the ways of opening theme. New possibilities from a group, which always with something fresh to offer.
Metamorphosis (Clean feed 2017) on OpDuvel Blog by Gert Derkx
20 juli 2017
Bassist Gonçalo Almeida is a productive musician. In the last few months, three CDs were published with Portuguese portraits: The Attic with Rodrigo Amado and Marco Franco, The Selva of the same-name trio (Almeida, Ricardo Jacinto and Nuno Morão) and Bulliphant Hightailing, a quintet completed by Three Belgians (Bart Maris, Ruben Verbruggen and Thijs Troch) and a Dutchman (Friso van Wijck).In the last company, it is also fooled with electronics, especially by Troch.
LAMA exists in addition to Almeida from Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva and the Canadian drummer Greg Smith, the Netherlands. On the debut album Oneiros from 2011, the three were still singles alone, but on successor Lamaçal , the trio set-up with the American saxophonist / clarinetist Chris Speed was extended to quartet. The third album, The Elephant’s Journey , appeared in 2015, and the trio is complemented by Belgian bassist clarinetist Joachim Badenhorst. The collaboration is obviously good, because also on Metamorphosis is Badenhorst of the party.
LAMA stands for reasonably accessible jazz with avant-garde features. The music is less innocent than it seems at first hearing and contains the necessary spells, sometimes appearing on the surface and sometimes hidden in an under layer. The four musicians are again one step further in their collaboration, and you are talking about Metamorphosis .
Like Bulliphant, LAMA is playing with electronics, but Almeida and drummer Greg Smith take that part.The input of electronic elements occurs subtly and sometimes almost unnoticed;It is not at the expense of the predominantly acoustic sound of the four.
Opening track ‘Metamorphosis I’ begins with electronic sounds and keyboard play, creating a calm ambient-like atmosphere.The clarinet game of Badenhorst closes seamlessly.The slightly deformed sounding bass of Almeida plays an oriental melody shortly, but it is still on the rise.The music stays spherical for the first five minutes.
The short melodic phrase of the bass slowly introduces the transition to more movement.The exciting electronic drone is left after a little seven minutes.Santos Silva now plays the oriental melody and Badenhorst concurs.The combination of the two blazers is beautiful, whether they are playing unison or each own melody.Almost unnoticed the electronic sounds disappear.Badenhorst solves, Almeida blows away, Smith disregards and spies Santos Silva.The intensity increases because Almeida and Smith are becoming increasingly robust.Badenhorst remains inexperienced playing his melodic game and gets a company later by Santos Silva.With the weather-emerging electronics, a noisy final is played.
This contrasts with the opening of ‘Metamorphosis II’, which is taken care of by the intersecting blazers, but there is no longer any rest here.Smith taps and hits a backbone rhythm and as soon as Almeida plays a running bass line, the game becomes increasingly nervous.Suddenly, the rest is there, though Smith is doing his best to disturb pestilence.Especially beautiful is the trumpet solo of Santos Silva after six minutes, in which often no crystal clear sounds are produced, but her tone is grainy, has a raglan.Smith adds ticking sounds after a few minutes.Part two of the triptych ends with a loom and bluesy piece that passes into a fast and jazzy part.
Almeida’s deep double bass starts ‘Metamorphosis III’.After his solo, he puts down the theme where Santos Silva and Badenhorst play over.Silva shows her class in a solo in which she effortlessly switches from low to high and back.Almeida returns the pace and now it’s Badenhorst’s turn for a melodic solo.In the end, the electronics are put into line.
‘Metamorphosis’ is from Almeida’s hand, but the plate contains two more pieces. ‘Comacina Dreaming’ is a composition of Badenhorst. At the beginning, keyboards and electronics sound. However, the bass clarinet of Badenhorst also lies in those sounds. Santos Silva solves with the necessary rest, while the electronics creates the unrest. Occasionally, the game of Santos Silva in this piece reminds Dave Douglas at the time of Charms of The Night Sky or Mountain Passages .The electronics disappears unnoticed to the background and Badenhorst is now the fast-playing party.The album ends with ‘Dark Corner’, from Smith, in which Almeida plays a slow bass line and Santos Silva and Badenhorst alternately or together the theme.The beautiful melody is gloomy and slow.
The trio LAMA supplemented with Joachim Badenhorst is a golden combination, so late after The Elephant’s Journey also hears Metamorphosis. The four musicians seem to make each other both melodic and experimental. The compositions are already strong, but the way in which they are already being interpreted improperly is quite fascinating. Wonderful music with a sharp edge.
February 2016 | Free Form Free Jazz
The Elephant’s Journey ****
Lama + Joachim Badenhorst by Free Form Free Jazz Blog: “The Lama Trio is a project led by bassist Lisbon (based in the Netherlands) Gonçalo Almeida, alongside Susana Santos Silva at (Porto) and Canadian drummer Greg Smith. For this “The Elephant’s Journey”, the trio invited the Belgian clarinetistJoachim Badenhorst, who brought another color to the heavy sound of the group. The result is a fascinating, sometimes dark, sonorous visit one of the last works of José Saramago, “The Elephant’s Journey”. The best moments of Badenhorst are the bass clarinet, with which creates beautiful contrasts with the trumpet Susana. With well-engineered parts and open to improvisations of great freedom, Lama Trio shows that reached a great artistic maturity point in his little more than seven years of existence.”
February 2016 | Draai om je oren Concert at Jazz Case Review by Ben Taffijn
“Those who know the work of Lama knows that this trio is not afraid to experiment. Electronics are part of the instrumentation and in “The Elephant’s Journey” there is full use of it but in a supporting role. With the new material, the role of experimental electronics continues to grow and be integrated into the music. The music of itself is already very experimental. Santos Silva sounds, in the piece “Metamorphoses”, which occupies the entire first set (!), as a disturbing radio and Badenhorst chooses an elongated drone-like tone on his clarinet. In the background we hear the sound of Almeida and Smith swell as if a storm is coming. The electronics turn this piece into a penetrating, even sometimes gloomy atmosphere, until suddenly the sun breaks through and a southern-tinged melody is carried in, courtesy of Badenhorst’s flamboyant game. But the storm that Almeida unleashes does not subside completely.
Striking is also the Santos Silva solo later in this document. She is definitely one of the most exciting trumpeters in the experimental jazz of today and leave here again hear where that reputation is based on. Squeaking and scratching she evokes the most extraordinary sounds from her instrument. Sometimes sweet, sometimes abrasive, poignant and gritty. But what she does, her musicianship is nothing less than perfect. Almeida is no different smoothly gliding his hands over the strings in a rhythmically lilting solo. It is the prelude to a surging melody full of beautiful colors, becoming brighter sounding with distinctly oriental influences, under the inspiring leadership of a wild but accurate Smith. Speaking of musicianship!
In the second set they played some pieces of the aforementioned ‘The Elephant’s Journey “. In ‘The Gorky’s Sky’ Badenhorst plays a strange swaying melody in an exciting solo. The snake’s head protruding from the basket! In ‘The Process’ the quartet also gets us in its grip. The driving percussion Smith, the groove of Almeida, the passionate clarinet game of Badenhorst and sharp solo of Santos Silva … it’s almost too much!”
November 2015 | Klasika ir džiazas
“Introducing exquisite avant-garde jazz album – this year released “The Elephant’s Journey”. The album was recorded jazz trio Lama and Joachim Badenhorst.
Total album consists of 8 songs, dedicated to one of the great literary classics. They recorded a trio Lama, a trumpeter plays Susana Santos Silva, Goncalo Almeida, bassist and drummer Greg Smith. The superb trio joined by clarinetist Joachim Badenhorst. All songs – very different. They heard a lot of electronics, sound effects and unusual timbres. Some of them, such as: “The Process” and “A Hunger Artist” stands beautiful, expressive and memorable themes. The compositions are characterized by a rich variety of textures and change. Distinguished and improvisation – its dynamic, expressive, full of unexpected turns and surprises. Heard and jazz fusion with other musical styles. Japanese musical motifs distinctly heard the composition, “Murakami. The album is also a lyric compositions, which are particularly evident heard specific electronic effects. Composition “Murakami stands out stunning trumpet and clarinet dialogue – it reveals infinitely beautiful trumpeter Susan Santos Silva sound. All compositions merge into a single whole multitude of contrasting episodes, while distinctive, creative and excellent improvisations enchants the audience with subtlety and characteristic, creativity and expressiveness.”
September 2015 | Time Out
September 2015 | Público by Nuno Catarino
Acaba de ser editado o terceiro disco do trio LAMA, grupo que reúne o trompete de Santos Silva com o contrabaixo do português Gonçalo Almeida (o principal mentor do projecto, também na electrónica) e a bateria do canadiano Greg Smith. O disco de estreia, Oneiros, foi uma bela surpresa, a atravessar as águas entre a acústica e a electrónica. O segundo registo, Lamaçal, com o convidado Chris Speed, continuou e ampliou a música do trio. Neste novo álbum, aparece um outro convidado, Joachim Badenhortst, saxofonista do trio Baloni, que mantém a dinâmica do registo anterior. A música do agora quarteto, inspirada pelo livro A Viagem do Elefante, de José Saramago, navega entre o jazz e a improvisação, mesclando referências sem medo. A composição é da responsabilidade de Almeida (neste disco assina sete dos oito temas), assegurando também uma amplitude larga. A interpretação das melodias confirma o excelente entrosamento do grupo, que desenvolve uma articulação instrumental fluida. O entendimento não se resume aos momentos em que os sopros dialogam, há uma toada geral de comunicação a envolver esta música aberta. Sendo o mais jazzístico e acessível dos projectos de Gonçalo Almeida (merecem atenção Albatre, Tetterapadequ e Spinifex, para quem queira arriscar), este LAMA é também um excelente veículo para o virtuosismo de Susana Santos Silva.
September 2015 | All About Jazz by Vincenzo Roggero
The trio of those consolidated by assiduous attendance, numerous concerts around Europe, two fine albums – Oneiros , the debut, the next Lamacal , with host Chris Speed -for Clean Feed. Always for the label Portuguese Pedro Costa Lama -this name trio -incide the third work with the listed Belgian clarinetist Joachim Badenhorst . The Elephant Journey headline of a Nobel laureate Jose Saramago’s novel, like other great writers do references the remaining songs-is another turning point in the creative process of the group. Of course you find the original approach to the melody of the debut album, opening with a rarefied atmosphere, almost chamber present in Lamacal , but here the prospects multiply , contaminate and at the same time are reflected in scenarios from sharp edges and glossy focus. Control and abandon, tenderness and rage, attention to form and solos visionaries, writing that feeds improvisation and improvisation that takes the form of writing makes The Elephant Journey album of maturity. The initial “Razor’s Edge” has the connotations the nightmare fed by electronic gadgets and eerie trumpet in a gradual crescendo to vanish out of nowhere began. “A Hunger Artist” masterfully combines the organized chaos of the first part with the unveiling of an unpredictable melodious theme, delicate texture that leaves ample room to the unsaid and inventions minimal of four musicians. But it is the title track to the song that identifies the best modus operandi of the group, with sudden changes of register, atmospheres constantly turning over, dialogues naughty and sophisticated unison with the pulse of the rhythm section to suggest new strategies improvisation.
September 2015 | Público by Nuno Catarino
“In parallel, it has just been published the third disc from LAMA trio, a group that brings together the trumpet Silva Santos with Portuguese doublebassist Goncalo Almeida (the main mentor of the project, also in electronics) and the battery of the Canadian Greg Smith. The debut album, “Oneiros” was a nice surprise, crossing the waters between the acoustic and the electronic. The second record, “Lamaçal”, with guest Chris Speed, continued and expanded the trio’s music. In this new album, it appears another guest, Joachim Badenhortst, Baloni trio saxophonist, who keeps the momentum of the previous record. The music now in quartet, inspired by the book “The Elephant’s Journey”, by José Saramago, navigate between jazz and improvisation, mixing references without fear. The composition is the responsibility of Almeida (signing seven of the eight tunes on this record), also ensuring a wide range. The interpretation of the melodies confirms the excellent rapport within group, which develops a fluid instrumental joint. The understanding is not limited only to times when the horns dialogue, there is a general tune of communication involved on this open music. Being the most affordable of jazz and Goncalo Almeida projects (merit attention Albatre, Tetterapadequ and Spinifex, for those who want to risk), this LAMA is also an excellent vehicle for the virtuosity of Susana Santos Silva.”
September 2015 | The Whole Note by Ken Waxman
Expressing themselves on a CD that is surprisingly calm as well as cutting edge are the members of the Lama group, who also extend the band’s internationalism with this memorable set. Consisting of trumpeter Susana Santos Silva from Porto, Portugal, plus Portuguese bassist Gonçalo Almeida and Montreal-born drummer Greg Smith, both of whom live in Rotterdam; the trio’s guest on The Elephant’s Journey is Belgian clarinetist Joachim Badenhorst. Instead of adding unnecessary weight to the musical pachyderm’s load, Badenhorst joins Silva in creating resilient acoustic timbres which are buoyant enough to coordinate nicely with the other instruments’ electronically enhanced structures.
Like the use of an animal trainer’s hook, arrangements on the eight tracks here adeptly direct the themes so that their singularity is apparent with little pressure added to the load of the titular camelid. Case in point is The Gorky’s Sky, where Almeida’s string slaps, surmounting harmonized group precision, make the reedist’s Dolphy-like tremolo dissonance appear to come from within an ensemble larger than a quartet. Smith’s percussion prowess gets a workout onCrime & Punishment, but there’s no felony associated with his bass-drum accents which downplay clashes and clatter, while triumphant trumpet blasts mixed with bass clarinet snorts confirm that Lama plus one can operate with the speed and efficiency of the best swing era combos. At the same time, although Silva’s chirping hockets often create enough unusual obbligatos to the spider web-like patterning of Badenhorst’s timbres, additional experimentation isn’t neglected either. Smith’s composition Murkami – the other tunes are all by Almeida – finds the clarinetist expressing a sour, bansuri-like squeak before the combination of lustrous trumpet extensions and positioned bass strokes surmount the dissonance with meditative calm.
Featuring textures that are both quixotic and pointed, the concluding Don Quixoteincludes understated electronic loops, contralto reed slurs, string pressures that move crab-like across the bass face, Smith’s tabla-like drone and Silva’s melodious brass accents. By the time the track finishes, it – and the CD – show that careful cooperation among equals leads to a summation of Lama’s skills rather than a quest for novelty.
August 2015 | JazzIn by Vlahovic Predrag
Lama is a modern jazz trio which Clean Feed for the third time indicated confidence. Led by the bassist Gonçalo Almeida, although it seems that the most prominent figure in the band charismatic Susana Santos Silva, on trumpet and flugelhorn. After saxophonist Chris Speed, this time reinforcing the Belgian clarinetist Joachim Badenhorst, already an established name contemporary improvised music in Europe.
As in the two previous CDs, Lama is a modern jazz expression where elements are composed in a harmonious relationship with improvisation. Something “more classic” melodies and buoyant rhythms meet with electronic and electroacoustic sound samples, which are responsible bassist and drummer Greg Smith. Despite the merger at first glance incompatible, every sound, tone and gesture individuals are perfectly embedded in the unique mosaic, of course with a certain amount of unpredictability and spontaneity. Joachim Badenhorst as an associate member pointed out the excellent compatibility with the band, adding sonic palette slightly darker shades produced by the clarinet, bass clarinet in particular, creating a counterweight to a colleague on the trumpet. Album “The Elephant’s Journey” band showed maturity and inventiveness characteristic much older and more experienced groups.
June 2015 | The Free Jazz Blog by Stef Gijssels
I will start my review with a sentence written by our colleague Paul Acquaro for the two previous Lama albums reviewed on this blog :
“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”
This is still the case here. Tightly composed and arranged pieces with Susana Santos Silva on trumpet and flugelhorn, Gonçalo Almeida on double bass, effects and loops, Greg Smith on drums and electronics, and guest musician Joachim Badenhorst on clarinet and bass clarinet.
The album starts with the short “Razor’s Edge“, a tantalising piece full of foreboding created by chimes and distant trumpet sounds that create a spell or magic of some kind, with increasing density as the clarinet and bass join, equally sad and ominous, ending in sparse electronics and crackling noises as a perfect intro for the second track, “The Process“, that is characterised by a wonderful and surprising theme, that jumps all over the place like an acrobat, but without the fun, because the atmosphere is serious, with a moaning clarinet as the first to solo, followed by a sad trumpet and then both swirl and dance around each other in mad circles, fierce and forceful, like antagonists in a story, but then the whole thing collapses and the bass plays a slow few notes, with a fax machine on the background, and the other instruments timidly re-entering the proceedings, unsure of their role, and insecure about what is going to happen, but then the opening theme comes back again and unifies the whole.
The next piece is called “A Hunger Artist” and is without a doubt the most beautiful composition of the year, with a beautiful theme that will stick in your memory forever (hopefully), and with fabulous collective interplay between the four musicians in the more open expansion and development of the theme, which keeps repeating itself despite the changing voices of the four instruments, which shift to anger, despair, joy and fun at the same time, utterly entertaining and beautiful, and like the previous track, somewhere in the middle the music quietens down for heart-rending solos by both clarinet and trumpet without actual resolution.
“Crime And Punishment” is the next piece, and in the meantime the alert listener has understood that all tracks refer to novels or novelists whose names you will find below. The Dostoyevski tune is equally well composed and arranged even if not my favorite of the album.
Gonçalo Almeida opens “Murakami” first arco then pizzi, introducing Badenhorst’s clarinet moving somewhat into the sad territory of subdued klezmer sensitivities, and Santos Silva’s trumpet amplifies the sadness with her beautiful sound, and both horns dialogue full of passion and compassion, supported by the subtle rhythm section. You will not hear anything sadder than this tune this year.
I will not review all tracks, but let me just mention the title song, which is worth mentioning for its inventiveness, humor and joy. And maybe also the closing track, which is again sad and subdued and excessively beautiful.
And basically that sums up the whole album. You get it all, with the right dose, in the right quantities : creativity, musical acumen, instrumental prowess, accessibility and freedom, coherence and variation, and emotional depth in each piece, whether fun or sad. Don’t miss it. It’s another gem that Clean Feed releases this year.
June 2015 | Bird is the Worm by Dave Sumner
“Excellent new recording from the Lama Trio of trumpeter Susana Santos Silva Silva, bassist Gonçalo Almeida and drummer Greg Smith, with the addition of Joachim Badenhorst’s clarinets adding a very substantial infusion of melodic definition. While the presence of electronics and dissonance is still felt, the music isn’t submerged in these elements as it was on past recordings. This session really allows the space for the tunefulness of their compositions to fully emerge. The results range from startling to fun.”
June 2015 | Cobra.be by Guy Peters (google translate)
A good example of how flexible and fresh modern European jazz can be. Was debut album Oneiros’ already a great business card and drop ‘Lamaçal’ with host Chris Speed, the more punitive second, then the trio with new guest comes Joachim Badenhorstone step further, with an equally confident as varied and ingenious plate .
The band was founded in 2008 by the Portuguese bassist based in Rotterdam Gonçalo Almeida , who trumpeter Susana Santos Silva (not so long ago in the back with the Bears Vultures) and drummer Greg Smith was minded to the zone between tradition and experiment explore. That happened from day 1 with electronics, loops, effects and all kinds of influences from less obvious corners. The result is time and again a hybrid electro-acoustic hybrid form that often feels lyrical, but also mysterious, dreamy and cinematic, without sacrificing excitement. It sought inspiration for the title was “A Viagem do Elefante”, the latest novel by José Saramago (1922-2010), the Portuguese master of allegory, is therefore appropriate. Obviously.
And literature does provide here often for inspiration, because other song titles to refer to Dostoyevsky, Kafka (2x), Cervantes and one living writer: Murakami, in the composition by Smith.What from ‘Razor’s Edge’ is immediately noticeable is the increasing prominence of electronics . Santos Silva indeed there wert groping around in a universe of ringing, tingling, creaking and rumbling sounds. A claustrophobic air of desolation sets the tone. Which is not maintained constant, but the album feels like the most complex and dark work of the band so far.
Yet is ‘The Process’ being pushed through and catchy groove in which clarinet and trumpet boisterous revolve around each other and insert short spurts, while abrasive electronics and repetitive rhythms betray influences from contemporary electronic music. And so Lama continually unites an inner discord, a combination of introverted stream-of-consciousness with bold explosiveness and ripping winds. “A Hunger Artist” is initially depressed, emotionally grueling, but ends up with a soft shuffle, while the magnificent “Murakami” will introduce an unaccustomed loneliness also the trademark of the Japanese writer.
At the other end of the spectrum you get than compositions like ‘Gorky’s The Spy, “which gnarled zigzagging meanders like a rag in heat rock’ n ‘roll. Trumpet and bass clarinet attract the same unruly sail until they both color outside the lines begin with ever more expressive slippages. Similar is it going to in the title track, the listener initially the wrong move with a slow, lyrical run. But then: gears, widely spread solos, a whopping one groove again and jumpy solos. Sitting still is not an option.
Once you’ve arrived at closer ‘Don Quixote’, it is also clear: Llama sounds more solid, more adventurous and more eclectic than ever before, while Badenhorst is integrated as well (something that also hear some time ago fell to a Ghent stage, so quite surprising is not), it seems like he’s always been part of the band. Hattrick ! It goes well with the young guard, thank you.
June 2015 | Giornale della Musica by Enrico Betinello (google translate)
Led by bass player Gonçalo Almeida and the strong contribution of the talented trumpeter Susana Santos Silva and drummer Greg Smith, the trio opens the materials related to the more recent tradition of jazz in “interference” and the electronic stamp restless clarinet of Badenhorst adds flavors to the recipe of bitter charm. Tasty recipe. The electronics are also leading the project Star Hip Troopers, created by producer and DJ Mess Morize with the contribution of many jazz musicians of our house. In Planet E (Music Park Records) dub and glows cosmic jazz are entwined in a continuous flow, flavor night.
May 2015 | Multikulti Project by Marek Zając (google translate)
The Portuguese-Canadian trio wrote Lama as the true revelation of progressive jazz – electro-acoustic music where “live eletronics” is an equal partner for acoustic instruments. Today Lama is one of the most intriguing European groups. Europe, because the group was born in Amsterdam where Susana Santos Silva trumpet player and bassist and composer Gonçalo Almeida studied at the Royal Conservatory and Canadian drummer Greg Smith worked. Their music can be poetic and gentle, without losing the texture density and intensity derived from the free jazz tradition, and even at the same time full of zeal so characteristic of jazz southern Europe. And although formally the music is not far from the mainstream, yet creative use of electronics and the emotional intensity of the music settles a trio of aces of the jazz avant-garde.
On the new album may sound more jazz than before – attached to them because the leader of another European trio (Nonetheless valued at all), namely the Belgian clarinet player Joachim Badenhorst from Baloni trio. But his participation makes the music also becomes more abstract and dark at the same time. Sometimes, as in the first composition “Razor’s Edge”, the texture gradually thickens and increases the tension, which comes a little sound of the band to this known even with recordings of Fire! Mats Gustafsson.
Here, however, electronic, preparations can also draw on the tradition even hip-hop and R & B, which does not mean that the music at any time takes on the character of the dance. The album as a whole is extremely addictive and surprising at the same time, and transfer music to a more abstract level makes the need bit more attention and delve into it fully. I highly recommend!
May 2015 | Salt Peanuts by Jan Granlie (google translate)
The Portuguese trio Lama , we have written about previously here on salt peanuts . The same has with the guest on this recording , clarinetist Joachim bathing Horst . But I have an idea that this is the first time the four play together as a group.
The trio Lama has previously cooperated with the American saxophonist Chris Speed on recording ” Lamaçal ” on Clean Feed Company , and the trio recorded the album « Oneiro » on the company in 2011 .
Getting with bathing Horst in this context seems like a solid boost in the trio . Trumpeter Susana Santos Silva , as we have heard , among others with the Swedish bassist Torbjörn Zetterberg in an insolent nice duoinnspilling , has grown big and strong after I heard her first time with this trio on 12 Points festival a few years ago . Her game is experimentally and she takes many more chances now than ever , and constantly lands she on the right side.
Bassist Goncalo Almeida comes from Lisbon, and is a regular bassist in the modern Portuguese jazz scene. He is a highly competent musician, which I in many ways guides the ship on this recording. He has a great tone in the bass, and his ideas are interesting. Drummer Greg Smith is originally from Montreal in Canada, and studied classical drumming before he dropped out and was taken in jazz. He has recorded with Davis Binney band Life On Mars, before moving to the Netherlands and began composing music for ballet and film. In the Netherlands, he is a musical chameleon, playing in all music genres. On this recording he is perhaps the one that makes up at least noticed but without he had graded been a completely different disc. He is helping to recolor the fine interplay between bathing Horst and Santos Silva, and occasionally he shows himself forward with clear kicks to the other musicians, including the “fourth track” Crime & Punishment “.
Susana Santos Silva comes from Porto, and is spreading more and more attention on the European jazz scene with people who Torbjörn Zetterberg, pianist Kaja Dracksler and the Belgian trio De Beren Gier, who she met on 12 Points.
Her trumpet playing here is more ensemble-oriented than the previous records I’ve heard of her. She has developed a nice tone of the horn, and she plays solos with nice ideas and with great conviction.
Joachim bathing Horst comes from Antwerp, and works much solo but can also be heard in cooperation with ia John Butcher and Paul Lytton and his own project Carate Urio Orchestra.
Along this, in my opinion been a very interesting constellation. We get eight songs, all, except the fifth track “Murakami” written by drummer Greg Smith, penned by bassist Goncalo Almeida. The music is consistently lyrical and mostly takes place in mid-tempo We get fine improvisations, and meets four very interesting European musicians that you just have to notice.
November 2013 | Free Jazz by Paul Acquaro
A little while back I reviewed Lama’s Oneiros. It was a fantastic album, subtle and nuanced, but also with some more aggressive moments. Revisiting my last review, every word still fits this new live recording featuring guest woodwind player Chris Speed.
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.
Lama is Susana Santos Silva on trumpet and flugelhorn, Greg Smith on drums and electronics, and Gonçalo Almeida on doublebass, effects and loops. Joining them on this recording is woodwind master Chris Speed on sax and clarinet. Recorded during the 2012 Portalegre Jazz Festival, this electro-acoustic ensemble sprinkles in the electronics perfectly and with Speed’s thoughtful playing, Lamacal is another treat.
Kicking off with the slow building ‘Overture for a Wandering Fish’, the tentative lowercase introduction gives way to increasingly louder fluttering and sputtering as the tension mounts between the horns and rhythm section, becoming quite driving. But, restraint is also a motif throughout. The next track, ‘Lamacal’, also begins quietly with Almeida’s solo bass. Then, Speed joins in with fractured melodic snippets, which Santos then returns and plays off of, making for a fiesty interchange. The track ‘Moby Dick’ is also a real pleasure to follow. The solid but minimalist bass line moves along with fills and textures until the elliptical unison melody comes ultimately to a slow boil. A great recording…
November 2013 | Multikulti Project by Witek Leśniak
November 2013 | Tomajazz by Pachi Tapiz
Susana Santos Silva es un tercio de LAMA, que completan Gonçalo Almeida (contrabajo) y Greg Smith (batería). Para Lamaçal, su segunda grabación, registrada en directo en el portugués Portalegre Jazz Festival, contaron con la colaboración del saxofonista Chris Speed. Gonçalo Almeida es el autor de cuatro composiciones, mientras que Santos Silva, Almeida y Speed aportan una cada uno. “Anemona”, “Cachalote” o “Moby Dick” (nada que ver con la exhibición de John Bonham de los Led Zeppelin) son algunos de los momentos más logrados. En todos sus temas es tan importante la improvisación como la estructura sobre la que esta se desarrolla, la utilización ortodoxa de los instrumentos como la capacidad de explorar sus posibilidades sonoras.
October 2013 | JAZZENZO by David Cohen
Portuguese – Canadian trio Lama came to stand at the Rotterdam Conservatory and debuted in 2011 with the album ” Oneiros . The successor ‘ Lamaçal ‘ , recorded live at the Jazz Fest Portalegre , the trio reinforced with the American free jazz saxophonist Chris Speed . The sound of the CD is very good , that this record is not the result of months of studio work is betrayed only by sporadic applause .
The music of Lama stems from the view that the re-shaping of music today to bridge the gap between past and future, a bridge. And as such must find between a prospective impact and also the use of an accessible idiom a new balance.
On ” Oneiros ” and even stronger ‘ Lamaçal ‘ , the influence of this vision clearly present : the band builds its songs on a combination of electric and acoustic effects game . The emphasis is on the musical scene in the opening track ” Overture for a Wandering Fish ‘ , a composition by trumpeter Susana Santos Silva . The combination of impressionistic effects and melancholic wind brings the listener filled with rich marine life and birds . The image of a deep , churning sea , Melodic nature of ‘ Moby Dick ‘ , where a large role for bassist and bandleader Gonçalo Almeida , and the closing track ‘ Manta ‘ .
The addition of Chris Speed on the trio comes very natural. He has a strong presence , but supportive rather than soloist , and his sound blends particularly well with the trumpet of Santos Silva . Less atmospheric jazz comes on the plate forward in a series of duels between the two instruments during the title track ‘ Lamaçal ‘ and a contribution of Speed , inspired by the work of Ornette Coleman ” Pair of Dice ” .
The music on ‘ Lamaçal ‘ is intriguing and has very atmospheric and moving passages , but also has its failures and do not know all the time to hold attention. The exploratory impact which the music has been established , is not that surprising. However, that Lama is able to make his vision and his unique electro-acoustic music to create occupation where present and future effects of past and present are combined and beautiful instrumental melodies with the trio ‘ Lamaçal ‘ is proven again
September 2013 | ENOLA.BE by Guy Peters
In early June the Flemish trio The Bears Vultures played a concert in the beautifully situated Vrijstaat O. (with sea and beach cabins) where they invited the Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva. Now three months later, she was again in the Ostend club with LAMA, which she founded with bassist Gonçalo Almeida and drummer Greg Smith, and with whom she recently released a second album (Lamaçal) in collaboration with Chris Speed five months ago. Speed was not there this time, but do not worry: even without him this was the kind of concert for the genre that can win you some extra public.
LAMA is one of those bands that are in the immediate vicinity of the intersection between accessible and experimental jazz. It is played with a fresh, adventurous spirit and scope for personal freedom, yet the atmosphere is often dreamy, cinematic and charming, without the use of cheap effects, cheesy themes or other pre-fabricated ideas. Here you have three strong musical personalities who protect the purity and alertness, and it is especially as a collective that the three show the best of themselves.
That LAMA is a band with a very consistent story was indeed very clear. Although it is played with dynamism and a pendulum movement between more introverted and more powerful pieces, regularly identity remains recognizable. The first set was reserved for material from debut album Oneiros (2011), while the second contained only material from Lamaçal. Great style differences were however not to be picked up. The most striking feature, the use of electronics (loops, cracking sounds, echoes, etc), was also used most tastefully and in the service of the whole.
Drummer Smith opened with an electronically processed drum run, but it was not a lesson in over-doing, because it is especially the compact interplay of the trio that stood out. There was plenty of room for repetition and subtle exotic influences, with a vague dreamy atmosphere that encourages Almeida and Santos Silva for easy ideas and solos that were not to showy, virtuosic, or technical , but very effective ideas.
Thus the rhythms were moulded like clay, they went through minor surgery accelerating and decelerating, and you got regular patches from the worlds of brooding pop music to hear. “Dr. No” led to a wonderful contrast between a sultry revolving rhythm section and the cool game of Santos Silva. While Almeida regularly showed off a conjuring ostinato , Smith showed that he is above all a melodic drummer, sometimes even following a trail that ran parallel to that of Santos Silva.
The second set was stylish kindled by the elegant “Overture For A Wandering Fish”, though it was still overshadowed by a beautiful version of “Moby Dick”, for which the well-filled club collectively held its breath. As curious passers-by on the dike stared inside, the trumpet that was heard showed that you only need a few notes to achieve maximum effect. All together the concert was a nice ride to sit out (the two sets together still account for more than 100 minutes) , but the deliberate hand-drumming from Smith in “Cachalote”, the different techniques and lyricism of Santos Silva , and hypnotic drive of “Manta” made sure you stayed on track. The darker, drone -like encore “Tarantino” was a pretty climax.
The first concern which we afterwards thought of was that this is the kind of band that you get far too little to see on our big jazz festivals. Without doing flat concessions or a rehearsed show to increase favor with the public (especially Santos Silva stood with remarkable timidity) they got it done and had the audience eating out of their hand and perhaps afterwards even purchased one of their great albums . And who knows where the journey is going, though we do not even claim that LAMA as an intermediate station to another and better place. No, this is modern jazz that confirms that we do not have to worry about the future of the genre. The VrijStaat O. could not have opened with a better concert.
September 2013 | Kwadratuur by Joachim Ceulemans
The Portuguese label Clean Feed deserve not only praise for the way the contemporary jazz and improvisation done with great diligence documents , but also because it little distinction between familiar names such as Ken Vandermark , Gerry Hemingway and Joe McPhee and lesser gods . In 2011, for example, the label came up with ‘ Oneiros ‘ , the debut of the Portuguese group LAMA . Few had heard at the time of bassist Gonçalo Almeida , trumpeter Susana Santos Silva and drummer Greg Smith , but thanks to the quality of Clean Feed gave many young trio a chance . Also successor ‘ Lamaçal ” will arouse the curiosity of many , because none other than Chris Speed blows on this record.
LAMA was founded in 2008 at the Conservatory of Rotterdam , where the musicians involved at that time while doing their musical training . Lisbon, the hometown of Clean Feed , and a lot of other Portuguese acts linked to the label. Just like the port in the past was a gateway for novelties from distant corners of the world, is also LAMA now receptive to influences that can enrich their music . So it dominated jazz and improvisation work of the group an oriental slant, knows what is mainly reflected in ‘ Anemona , a driven by a cunning bass ostinato piece and tailored Chris Speed . For the American , this is familiar territory he explored further extended to ten years ago with the inactive standing quartet Pachora . He dances on clarinet therefore willingly in the round when the light turns to him after a long introduction to green .
Through electronics and loops puts the group a lot of accents . There is the beautiful dreamy , fed by delay ‘ Manta ‘ that can perfectly serve as mini – soundtrack , but musically have great ambitions . Generated by a bow and looped whale sounds that ‘ Moby Dick ‘ is kicked are no more than a kitsch embellishment . However, the sequel is a pack interesting with elegant bass work of Almeida in (again ) Asian-inspired theme. It is long been clear that the aesthetic LAMA paramount performs and then a full and crisp production (however a live recording movement from the Portalegre Jazz Fest ) as handy here.
Speed contributes with ‘ He Has a Pair of Dice’ also a lot of , what action will the unvarnished plate since the group only meets in the jubilant theme then sole office and improvising to explode. However, it is in their own pieces that the trio is blossoming , culminating title track ‘ Lamaçal ‘ , that more than eight minutes captivates thanks teasing exchanges between trumpet and alternate clarinet and tenor sax , combined with an ever-changing undercurrent of bass and drums . Rhythms are stacked together and the pace is through subtle interventions almost imperceptibly doubled and delayed again .
Lisbon that stirs in contemporary jazz and improvisation done was already known . With LAMA has the Portuguese capital on a colorful representative for the melodic side of the avant – garde , which undoubtedly can also discuss at international level.
September 2013 | ENOLA.BE
The Lama Trio – trumpet player Susana Santos Silva, Rotterdam-based bass player Gonçalo Almeida and drummer Greg Smith – already came up with the excellent Oneiros (2011) in which modern jazz, free improvisation and subtleelectronics forged a subtle union. Just like that record, Lamaçal starts off with electronic effects, but there’s no fear of being covered in loads of manipulations, as the trio convinces with naked purity as well. With American reed player Chris Speed on board, they broaden their reach without enforcing radical changes. The music sways from stately, sometimes dreamy compositions (“Overture For A Wandering Fish”) to material that introduces more force and color (title track).
It’s especially intriguing how these four succeed in avoiding the obvious. They play with colorful animal sound effects (“Moby Dick”), but don’t turn into an animal freakshow, they come close to pop territory (closer “Manta” with its delightful bass playing) while avoiding generic soft stuff, and in pieces like “Cachalote” and “Pair Of Dice”, is als gets more sprightly, as the energy levels go up without really exploding. It’s exactly this tension, those suggestions that rarely become explicit, that turn Lamaçal into an album that stays intriguing and fascinating. On top of that, Santos Silva, who’s constantly playing with subtle sound shifts and sometimes switches to the sturdier fluegelhorn, demonstrates an impressive reach and mastery over tonal variety.
August 2013 | JazzFlits
“Dice, mud, (pot) fish, anemones, swamps, and wandering invertebrates. What does that have anything to do with each other? These are the titles of the album ‘Lamaçal “(Portuguese for swamp) Lama. The world where Lama (a llama or mud) finds itself doing surreal. We start the trip with a “Overture for a wandering fish ‘, which sounds steadily unfold. The bass creaks, the horn beep and drummer Greg Smith plays hushed accents. A little later Lama arrives in swamp. Sunk them wade to the edge of bassist Gonçalo Almeida a propulsive bass dough. The music starts to live and is halfway between the power of the bass and free improvisations by saxophonist Chris Speed and trumpeter Susana Santos Silva. On the one hand it is very listenable, sometimes almost Miles Davis ” L’ascencor pour l’échafaud. and seeks Lama borders and strips the music of rhythm and harmony. When the piece ‘pair of dice’ seems to end, and set Speed and Santos Silva in a duet. They give each other space and play well to each other. Exactly at the moment when it starts to get boring interplay is the rhythm section, push the number back to the beginning and end suddenly. the trio and guest musician Chris Speed feel each other well. They have a big swipe through when working and when the fog. in danger The music, especially in combination with the titles, appeals to the imagination. The atmosphere is accessible but not too easy. A very pleasant CD to repeatedly get lost.”
July 2013 | Jazzismus Was There
“Fascinating rolling “mud” makes a loud, free jazz statement…Lama & Chris Speed – “Lamacal” (2013): Youth and talent pay an atmospheric homage to inspirational legends. This remarkably creative Portuguese group joins forces with the imaginative style of Chris Speed and elaborates remarkably on jazz heritage…Splendid and highly recommended stuff!”
July 2013 | The New York City Jazz Record by Stuart Broomer
LAMA & Chris Speed “Lamaçal”
“Lama (the word means “mud” in Portuguese) began in Rotterdam as a trio of Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva and bassist Gonçalo Almeida with Canadian drummer Greg Smith, the latter two adding electronic elements. They released their debut CD Oneiros in 2011, memorable (in contradiction to the band’s name) for a developed use of space, form and distinctive sounds and textures, whether in Almeida’s compositions or their improvisations. On Lamaçal (the irony continues with a title meaning mud puddle), the group is joined by New York tenor saxophonist/ clarinetist Chris Speed, now a regular guest, in a live set at the 2012 Portalegre Jazz Festival.
The music here is almost always lyrical, though moods and textures will change, with the band unusually comfortable at slow tempos that support their sonic emphasis. It’s apparent from the beginning of the set with Santos Silva’s “Overture for a Wandering Fish”, a near-dirge that emphasizes a ragged brassy edge to her trumpet that she presses from village band to multiphonics in consort with Speed. Her expressive power takes a different but equally vocalic turn with the muffled half-valves of the concluding “Manta”. Almeida contributed four of the compositions here and his ear for the unexpected makes effective use of Speed’s clarinet on the title track, a piece oddly suggestive of both Boulez and traditional jazz, and the middle-East themed “Anémona”. Almeida’s melodic bass playing and subtle electronics stand out on the whale invocations of his “Moby Dick”.
There are plenty of strong individual efforts here, but it’s camaraderie and shared invention that ultimately animate the music, from the vitality that the horns bring to the themes to the subtle dialogues that link all the members of the group. The improvised duet between Smith and Speed that opens the former’s slightly boppish “Cachalote” stands out, as do the fleet and edgy contributions of Santos Silva and Almeida to Speed’s Ornette-reminiscent “Pair of Dice”. Rather than sounding like a trio with a guest, Lama + Chris Speed already sounds like a band.”
July 2013 | Dark Was The Night by Cayetano López
LAMA & Chris Speed “Lamaçal”
“The best that can be said of the new Portuguese scene is that is making it’s own identity based not on the imitation of any particular stream and not sound as anything familiar, much of what I said in this regard about bassist Hugo Carvalhais is equally applicable to Lama with whom has a certain affinity. Lama is a trio led by bassist Gonçalo Almeida with Canadian drummer Greg Smith and the young trumpeter Susana Santos Silva, a true revelation to me that in these days I also saw released a duo with Swedish bassist Torbjörn Zetterberg in which she immerses herself in the stormy waters of free improvisation and enjoyed the splendid presentation at the recent Ljubljana Jazz Festival. After a promising debut, Oneiros, this second recorded live at Portalegre has had the sax and clarinet reinforcement of Chris Speed, that far from occasional guest act has fit perfectly into the concept of the band with his calm and deep style. Susana presents in this context a lyricism that reminds me that chamber music Dave Douglas that I miss so much in his latest projects. The strongest characteristic of Lamaçal is creating amazing atmospheres with unexpected twists, very free spirit without losing the taste for melody, and all topped by a subtle use of electronics which gives it a very contemporary sound. A highly enjoyable listen.”
July 2013 | Time Out Lisboa by Jose Carlos Fernandes
LAMA & Chris Speed – Lamaçal
“Ao segundo CD, o trio dos portugueses Gonçalo Almeida (contrabaixo) e Susana Santos Silva (trompete) e do canadiano Greg Smith (bateria) recebe o reforço de um dos músicos mais requisitados do jazz moderno, o norte-americano Chris Speed (sax, clarinete). O registo, captado ao vivo no Portalegre Jazz Fest 2012, prossegue na senda de diversidade e imprevisibilidade de Oneiros, o CD de estreia: há cantos de baleia no contrabaixo com arco de “Moby Dick” e uma banda de circo ébria no irónico “A Pair of Dice”; “Anémona” ondula os seus tentáculos num ritmo hipnótico e “Manta” é um deslizar tranquilo e melancólico.
Lamaçal demonstra que a macambúzia teoria do “pântano” não se aplica ao jazz português, que está cada vez mais solto e cosmopolita.”
“In their second CD, the trio of the portugueses Gonçalo Almeida (bass), and Susana Santos Silva (trumpet) and Canadian Greg Smith (drums) receives the reinforcement of one of the most requested musicians of modern jazz, the American Chris Speed (sax, clarinet). The recording, captured live in Portalegre Jazz Fest 2012 continues on the path of diversity and unpredictability as Oneiros, the debut CD: there is the singing of whales on the bow of the bass of “Moby Dick” and a circus drunk band in the ironic “A Pair of Dice “; ” Anemona” wave their tentacles in a hypnotic rhythm and “Manta” is a quiet and melancholy sliding.
Lamaçal demonstrates that the gloomy theory of “Swamp” does not apply to portuguese jazz, which is increasingly loosing up and cosmopolitan.”
June 2013 | Le Son du Grisli by Luc Bouquet
LAMA & Chris Speed “Lamaçal”
“The forms are not bold. In a sense, it’s not revolutionary. But what is revolutionary today? These hackneyed forms have been used for ages. Forms that are tangled breaths (here trumpet and clarinet). Forms that do not reject the spacious chorus of the bassist (Moby Dick). Shapes reminiscent of a certain harmolodious Ornette C (Pair of Dice). Forms that play with ghosts and electronics (Overture for a Wandering Fish, Manta). Forms of yesterday and whose tomorrows are not partitioned yet.
Here Lama does not throw the basics out the window, but on the contrary, the substance travels the length (of the recording) while still maintaining a jubilant enthusiasm. There is freshness in our Lusitanian friends, a desire to explore more than to be convincing. And if you can prefer their first recording, Oneiros, Susana Santos Silva (real presence), Gonçalo Almeida, Greg Smith and guest Chris Speed are able to make us forget these “modern” combos whose copy-pasting saturates the ears.”
June 2013 | Jazz Magazine by Stéphane Ollivier – LAMA & Chris Speed “Lamaçal”
June 2013 | All About Jazz Italia by Vincenzo Roggero
LAMA & Chris Speed “Lamaçal”
“After the sparkling debut Oneiros , the Lusitanian-Canadian trio called Lama and led by bassist Gonçalo Almeida, gives the second film prints for the occasion by inviting the quoted clarinetist / saxophonist Chris Speed.
Recorded during the tenth edition of Portalegre Jazz Festival, Lamaçal while retaining some of the features found on the debut album – all on a convincing dangerous liaison between melody, electronics and improvisation – makes a sharp turn style.
Beginning with the writing that broadens their links, creates spaces, blurs the outlines and feeds a kind of climax chamber near certain works of Claudia Quintet, in which formation plays, not surprisingly, Chris Speed.
The song form, albeit unconventional, from the previous album gives way to a research that goes in the direction of bold combinations of timbre of a sound organization built on fleeting signs of a performance-toned abstract, sometimes dreamlike.
The exception is “Pair of Dice,” song by clear references ornettiani in which the quartet shows a more purely jazz character. Overall Lamaçal reveals itself as sophisticated disc, the language at times cerebral, in a nutshell with interesting future developments.”
June 2013 | Tom Hull
Lama + Chris Speed: Lamaçal (2012 , Clean Feed): Live at Portalegre Jazz Fest, they say “10o edition” but mean 2012. Speed, who should need no intro, plays tenor sax and clarinet. Lama is a trumpet trio led by Susana Santos Silva, with Gonçalo Almeida on bass and Greg Smith on drums, both also dabbling in electronics, and this is their second album. A little slow on the start, but when the horns get working they bounce off one another splendidly. B+(***)
June 2013 | Europe Jazz Media Chart
May 2013 | LE COOL Lisboa Interview with LAMA & Chris Speed
May 2013 | Written in Music by Henning Bolte
LAMA & Chris Speed “Lamaçal”
“Lama, trumpet, double bass, drums, is a young Portuguese-Canadian trio with a firm leg in Rotterdam and Porto. Lama is Susana Santos Silva, Gonçalo Almeida and Greg Smith. On Lamaçal, their second album on Clean Feed, recorded live during the Portalegre Jazz Fest, the trio features clarinetist/saxophonist Chris Speed as guest. Lama consists of three remarkable young musicians who in their own special way radiate a strong group identity. In a sovereign manner they handle a wide range of techniques and approaches well absorbed from the jazz tradition, albeit completely in the service of their own imagination and create – just like on their first album Oneiros – a fascinating sound. The collaboration with Chris Speed is the obvious extension thereof.
Whether it’s an Ornettish piece such as Pair Of Dice or the funeral march atmosphere of Manta, the continued rolling generated from the title piece Lamaçal, the whale song of Moby, the beautiful melody of the Bolero-like repetitive bass motif Anemona or the beautiful handrumming of Cachalote (sperm whale) – all are convincing as a colorful oceanic whole. The sea as environment plays a prominent role in all the parts and the spirit of Ornette blows through all the pieces. The strongest of the aforementioned, Pair Of Dice, has all the qualities of Ornette’s Una Muy Bonita (1960, Change Of The Century) in it. Santos Silva’s phrasing has undeniably something of the fearless momentum of Don Cherry. Her interplay with Chris Speed is rich, sophisticated and full of productive tension.
The extraordinary quality of Lama’s music is primarily in the transitions which occur between the pieces and within the pieces: fanciful, seductive and exciting. Notably the passages in which a solo instrument takes over which either deepens the piece or guides it to another terrain. Therefore unlike classic jazz solos. Lama’s core: an engaging combination of rawness, melody and daring challenging lines, the manner in which the pleasure of playing and concentration come together.
Santos Silva plays everything that is made for trumpet, Almeida has a cool vibrating bass and expands his sound in a special way with subtle electronics. Smith, steady and firm, flexible and quick to react, does everything at the right time effortlessly. The playing of these four musicians remains amazingly grounded while simultaneously opening up new perspectives. The fascination of listening remains. Apparently they succeed what many others only try: creating fantasy worlds that appeal to people, fantasy worlds that capture our imagination and our salvation in the sea of reality. Makes one think of Josef Nadj, Vasili Kandinsky, Manoel de Oliveira and Robert Wilson. The beautiful album cover – for myself the best that I have encountered so far this year – perfectly depicts the music.
And then to realise that this all comes from mud. Lama means ‘mud’ in Portuguese. You need some guts and self-awareness necessary to take that as a starting point for a group name! The album title Lamaçal, sludge, even goes a step further. Sea, tides, swell, sludge, creation …. Santos Silva, Alameida and Smith have moulded something into a fascinating and provocative shape!”
May 2013 | Jazz.Pt by António Branco
LAMA & Chris Speed “Lamaçal”
A síndrome do segundo disco é um problema que, sabemo-lo, afeta muitos projetos. Criadas expetativas na estreia, as mesmas, tantas vezes, não conhecem continuidade, ditando o esquecimento. O inverso acontece, porém, com o trio – baseado em Roterdão – formado pelos portugueses Susana Santos Silva e Gonçalo Almeida e pelo canadiano Greg Smith. Aliados ao experiente saxofonista e clarinetista norte-americano Chris Speed, não só confirmam como ampliam neste segundo registo as virtudes expostas na estreia, há dois anos, com o excelente “Oneiros”.
“Lamaçal” concretiza uma parceria que se revela muito conseguida e com a qual, de facto, a formação expande consideravelmente o espetro de soluções disponíveis, dando notáveis passos em frente.
Gravado ao vivo na 10.ª edição do Portalegre Jazz Fest, em 2012, o novo disco volta a revelar movimentações de miscigenação entre elementos de vários domínios das músicas criativas, apostando como elemento essencial das suas construções sonoras numa criteriosa utilização de “loops” e efeitos eletrónicos, que se fundem de forma natural e inteligente com os instrumentos acústicos.
Apesar de Gonçalo Almeida se assumir como principal compositor, todos os restantes músicos também assinam peças concetualmente dominadas pelo imaginário ligado ao mar e a idiossincráticas criaturas que nele habitam (a exceção será o festivo “Pair of Dice”, original de Speed).
“Overture for A Wandering Fish” (da autoria da trompetista) abre em tom solene, escutando-se ruminações vindas das profundezas, seja via sopros ou contrabaixo processado. A peça que dá título ao disco exibe vivos diálogos entre o trompete e o clarinete (depois saxofone tenor), assentes na efervescência controlada da secção rítmica.
Introduzida por sons que evocam os emitidos pelos cetáceos (linguagem estruturada que o Homem praticamente desconhece), a bela melodia de “Moby Dick” revisita a personagem central do revolucionário romance de Herman Melville, com Almeida desenvolvendo graciosas figuras e Smith laborando com minúcia.
“Cachalote”, de Smith, é introduzida por este, seguindo-se uma altiva intervenção de Speed em tenor, que desemboca em vigorosos uníssonos. O tom enérgico desvanece-se e tudo termina serenamente. “Anémona” constrói-se em torno de um belo ostinato de contrabaixo e a melodia hipnotizante de “Manta” transporta o ouvinte para a tranquilidade silenciosa dos fundos abissais.
Uma excelente proposta que reforça o superlativo interesse deste projeto.
May 2013 | Jazzenzzo
It is certainly not always the case that you can discern from the cd cover what kind of music you’re dealing with. However, the cover drawing in “Oneiros”, the debut CD of the Portuguese-Canadian trio Lama gives a good indication. Many different shapes and colors, purposeful empty spaces created, and surfaces that are ultimately all connected.
Trios consisting of trumpet, bass and drums are fairly scarce. Because of the nature of the trumpet, it is virtually impossible to play continually. The resulting space is amazing filled in by the trio. How? By not doing too much, by leaving room and by emphasising the penetrating vastness.
Double bass player Gonçalo Almeida functions here, similar to his special trio Atos, with a clear musical vision. In many ways the music is free, but don’t expect sudden screaming tones or eruptions of furious energy. Lama shows us how you can flow without losing control. Adventurous in this way, the obvious parallels are immediately rejected out of hand.
Given the formation you would consider someone like Cuong Vo as related, but Lama’s music is totally different in atmosphere. The group sounds especially unique. Occasionally Ralph Alessi comes to mind as a comparison. This is also a good indication of Lamas music: intelligent and complex, but also dry and cerebral. The effect equipment is generally used carefully and tastefully. It could even be less present.
The dark round sound of Almeida’s bass, Smith finely dosed percussion, the round but also playful, sometimes almost lascivious sound of Santos Silva and especially the silences in between opens up a world of possibilities and directions. This is Oneiros.
April 2013 | Cultur’Arte Mag
April 2013 | Jazz.Pt by António Branco
O arranque dos concertos de domingo aconteceu às 17h00, no Teatro Estúdio Mário Viegas, com o projeto LAMA, trio formado por Susana Santos Silva (trompete), Gonçalo Almeida (contrabaixo) e Greg Smith (bateria), que teve como convidado especial o saxofonista e clarinetista norte-americano Chris Speed, numa aposta colaborativa perfeitamente ganha.
Na realidade, com esta parceria o grupo alargou o seu leque de soluções, tendo crescido desde o seu já de si mui recomendável álbum de estreia (“Oneiros” de 2011). Nesta ocasião, apresentou o seu aguardado segundo disco, intitulado “Lamaçal”, revelando a sua proposta inteligente e ousada, que convoca elementos de vários quadrantes das músicas criativas.
Muito do som engendrado assentou nos jogos que se estabeleceram através das diferentes combinações de sopros, em despique ou complemento, aliados à impertinência rítmica de Almeida e Smith. Central o trabalho do contrabaixista, que não se limitando a desempenhar papel rítmico (notável o ostinato que desenhou em “Anémona”), assumiu diferentes posições no xadrez do quarteto, sabendo incorporar com propósito eletrónicas discretas que enriqueciam as atmosferas tranquilas e encantatórias.
Greg Smith é um baterista inventivo e hábil na construção de delicados tapetes rítmicos. Nota para a dança Speed/Smith a introduzir “Cachalote”, para a leitura de “Pair of Dice” (original de Speed) e ainda para a melodia onírica de “Manta”, com contrabaixista e baterista a recorrerem a efeitos e acessórios para criar texturas que transportaram o ouvinte para as profundezas submarinas.
Um excelente concerto de um projeto que se consolida como muito interessante.
April 2013 | (Free) Jazz Alchemist
“Although 2/3 of the LAMA trio is portugese the band actually was created in Rotterdam, where Susana Santos Silva and Goncalo Almeida were studying at the jazz department of the city conseravatory. The music this trumpet trio proposes is somewhere between what’s free and mainstream in jazz, the mixture nicely spiced up with an intelligent use of electronics. One can easily fall in love with the “Oneiros”.
The title track is a delicate ballad which glides elegantly as bass and trumpet state the melody in unisono, along spare, steady toms drumming. “Alguidar” that starts the cd could be divided into different parts, between dark suspense and light, between mysterious tones and melodies, that the track shifts back and forth to seamlessly. “Ouverture for Penguins” brings a surprising mix od noir atmosphere (enhanced by the disturbed echoes flying around) and strong groove, with jamming trumpet solo. While the melodies are sharp and the playing gives them enough bite, the distortion, fx effects, echoes blurr it somehow on the edge, resulting in a more misty tones.
Goncalo Almeida is responsible for all but two compositions on the album, Greg Smith wrote a a dynamic “Dr. No” which remings you of action movies, and Susana Santos Silva the tune “My Fucking Thesis” where electrified trumpet sounds rides with rock solid drum’n’bass charge.
The albums is cohesive, the strong tunes share the decisive grooves, catchy tunes as well as immaginative arrangaments. I feel I’ve rarely heard a trio album where such attention to a complete arrangement was present. The three instruments always fall into precise spot, where they shoud be, might it be a single touch of the drum. Each piece is like a precious music box, carefully crafted. “Melodia Minuscula” charms you into meditataion with warm and simple melody based on gentle touch of strings and most modest percussion touches. All three players deserves a lot of credit for the entire album but the lyrical bass solo in this piece feels really heartwarming.
The LAMA’s music balances intelligently between moments of dramatical and comical, earthy and dreamy and “The chimp who taught men how to cry” exemplifies that with a jumpy, cartoon-like intro that fuses into dramatic tones that get darker and madder with groovy crescendo. As the tension breaks suddenly the cartonish theme returns. The slow, spacious and psychodelic “Tarantino” that ends the cd brings to mind the music of Cuong Vu
“Oneiros” presents some great playing but most of all some brilliant writing. The compositions are tunefull, rich, filled with surprising melodic twists and turns, witty and insightfull. Most satisfying listen on many levels LAMA “Oneiros” comes most definitely recommended.”
October 2012 | Rua de Baixo by Pedro Tavares
Quando escutamos “Oneiros”, o primeiro álbum dos Lama Trio, sentimos, e consentimos, que estamos perante uma música ousada, profunda e sobretudo inovadora.
Com sede em Roterdão, Holanda, o trio é constituído por Gonçalo Almeida no contrabaixo, Susana Santos Silva no trompete e por Greg Smith na bateria. A maioria das composições são originais e da autoria de Almeida. Os restantes elementos repartem um tema cada.
Com uma dinâmica e ritmo contagiantes, a formação luso-canadiana comunica através de uma linguagem limpa, assente numa estrutura bem delineada, versátil, onde a electrónica assume um papel preponderante. A combinação entre a improvisação e as linguagens electroacústicas, com recurso a efeitos e loops, conferem uma maior elasticidade aos instrumentos e à própria música. Em “Oneiros”, o trio consegue-a de forma soberba.
Em suma, o jazz electroacústico dos Lama Trio leva-nos numa viagem ao desconhecido de onde não apetece regressar.
É mais um trabalho excelente da editora portuguesa Clean Feed Records, a provar porque é considerada uma das quatro melhores editoras de jazz do mundo”
July 2012 | RockOnNet by Anze Zorman (google translate)
“The starting point with which I initially approached the plate, it was definitly inappropriate traveler. That it is supposedly a modern, expanded jazz with electronics, it was said somewhere, it was re-ignite hope in laptop or even synthesizer operator, which will be a decent standard tools of pariral. Unfortunately – but not too much – not so. Lama is completely standard populiran acoustic trio trumpets ( Susana Santos Silva ), drums ( Greg Smith ) and bass ( Gonçalo Almeida ), who in impressive manner Many issues out of the Portuguese label Clean Feed špilajo music , which is very jazz, such orthodox, but it nonetheless seems to have its own sound, its own moment and vision, which promises the potential of divergent development and perhaps even more present to electronic components in addition to the filters, looped, reverbiranj and from time to time vzniklih electrical breeze.
Debut the band themselves young and rapidly profilirajočih the musicians is addressed Mon demon from the Greek mythological imaginary; Oneiros should be črnokrili demon dreams and desires, their personalization, which in its Portuguese sonic manifestation repeatedly strives to hymn-like motifs Sketches of Spain and occasionally arouse any association the futuristic restlessness Rob Mazurek. Following a looseness reverbiranega dreamy flow through tipping perspective on a series of songs suddenly conceived again and percolation passages, the sound board extends and hovers Mon withdrawn, difficult to be captured space, where over three-quarters of an hour short duration of more than an epic tale draws luxurious and contractions fragments of dreams.
Songs are inspired through, a cautious improvisation more or less stick swirling around basic phrases, which dead ends at the atmospheric layer that rarely get the basic song motifs. This is the first song Alguidar , which determine the initial crackling atmospheric probing, a cautious tone in which the wailing quench and sometimes grown trumpet sound introduced into the environment. The panel also caution prevails and restlessness, this gentle, which is often released in the spill melodic softness or gentle repetition bass. From softer registry is the title song, slightly himničen, populiran with dreamy reminiscences on the panel mentioned Miles Davis and tiny nodules electronic lines drawn, as well as minuscule Melodia , which winds through the variation Carne melodic phrases trumpet and percussion škrabljajoče and despite the simplicity of a single pearl plate . Peaceful agitation and improvised impressions of the only break in zaswingani bondijadi Dr. No , but still not breaking frames Iberian inertia, and the song just fucking My thesis title is faithfully bit concretely break. Followed by two panel climax, with lyrical bass plotted The Chimpanzee Who Told Man How to cry that the melancholic water akvarelno extend the fiery crescendo, but the manner of boards soon reverts back, and the final contact Tarantino with air and concise, but somehow epic quality.
In short, a very suggestive thing. At times it may be more than comfortable and dreamy little loose and the plate is hesitant Oneiros yet outlined a clear piece of music, very mature for a debut, especially a great traveler expectations by the following panel as well as the performance, which will be presented at the upcoming occupation of Ljubljana Jazz Festival.”
Ljubljana Jazz Festival July 2012 | RockOnNet by Nina Novak (google translate)
“Then it was time for the trio dubbed Lama (Portugal, Canada), which consists of Gonҫalo Almeida (bass),Susana Santos Silva (trumpet) and Greg Smith (drums). Their music reflected different approaches to the creation and on the border between conventional and unconventional. The tracks which blend into each other, it is not clearly defined when one ends and when it begins the next. Pretty much the role of the drums, but otherwise all three all the time literally play with different shades of sound, to create a dialogue. Special attention is also paid to kontrabasistu time preserving the role of the classical and melodious accompaniment, but it is enriched with vibrato and glissandom, making the song got a slight touch of blues.Despite the fact that the central instrument trumpet festival, would be to point out the (all) great bassist!Sound Lama despite the use of sound effects (such as. Raucous sound of old, worn, boards), remains cleaned of redundant elements, so it was also with communication. A few words about the songs and thank the Slovenian were just enough.”
Ljubljana Jazz Festival July 2012 | AAJ by Henning Bolte
The Lama trio, with Porto-based trumpeter Susana Santos Silva, and Rotterdam-resident bassist Gonçalo Almeida and drummer Greg Smith, made its first record, Oneiros (Clean Feed, 2012). Lama played its very own form of dream-like music, effectively using various means—technically and stylistically—and demonstrated a strong command of varying dynamics. Almeida infused loops and soundscape-like electronics but also fell into a classic walking bass lines and simple, beautiful ostinatos. Smith started with a heavy bass drum beat, while switching to hand drumming at the right moments. Silva has achieved her own voice on trumpet and flugelhorn, informed by legacy artists including saxophonist Ornette Coleman and trumpeter Don Cherry, and the entire group’s performance affirmed Lama as a promising one to watch.
July 2012 | Wartajazz by Thomas Y. Anggoro
LAMA Trio is fairly unique not only for their uncommon formation (trumpet, contrabass, drums) but also for the claim of a full musical adventure. Lama was formed in Rotterdam by two Portuguese musicians who previously went to study in the city, Susana Santos Silva (trumpet), double bassist Gonçalo Almeida and Canadian drummer Greg Smith.
Concoction of various acoustic and electronic sounds in real time improvisation, cyclic composition is the main dish of this group.
By rotating the opening track “Alguidar,” immediately felt music that permeates the boundaries of modern jazz or avant garde realm though. Continued title track minimalist style “Oneiros” whispers through the minor scale Susana and emphatic drums Greg.
There are synergies in the electro-acoustic number “Overture For Penguins” and “Dr. No”, there is also a burst of energy on the Susana’s rock composition “My Fucking Thesis”. Consider also the ballad elusive “Melodia Minúscula” until he calls a metric irregular time signatures composition “The Chimpanzee Man Who Told How to Cry.”
This album ends with a mysterious track in the layers of science fiction voices on “Tarantino.” The ultimate number, it appears Susana, Gonçalo and Greg pay attention to correct detail about the source of sounds and how they process it through a dialogic interaction and organic. “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
July 2012 | by Stuart Broomer
Based in Rotterdam, Lama is an unusual mix of sensibilities, a trio of Portuguese and Canadian musicians that work at the intersections of film noir cool jazz, electronica and free improvisation. Gonçalo Almeida plays bass, effects and loops and is the principal composer; Susana Santos Silva plays trumpet, flugelhorn and electronics; they’re joined by drummer Greg Smith, a Canadian who toured Europe with Toronto’s Shuffle Demons in the mid-90s and decided to stay in Holland. 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 on The Chimpanzee Who Told Man How to Cry. Almeida’s Alguidar introduces the pattern of continuous transformation beginning in drone-like loops of bowed bass and rubato trumpet long-tones before Santos Silva’s spiky, splintering trumpet becomes the lead voice in a charging, jazz-based improvisation. 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, something like the film music of Nino Rota. Stuart Broomer
June 2012 | Ljubljana Jazz Festival
Finding ground in the cross-section of re-invented traditional jazz idioms and innovation intrinsic to jazz since the 1970s, the Portuguese-Canadian trio Lama performed soon after the concert by Kaja Draksler. Susana Santos Silva’s charismatic trumpet playing was characterised by absence of conventional jazz patterns, while drummer Greg Smithand double bass player Gonçalo Almeida journeyed between recognizable patterns and contemporary departures into atonality and electroacoustic soundscapes. The line-up mostly played compositions from their acclaimed album Oneiros, dedicated to dreamscape paradoxes, which the harmonious threesome transliterated into a multilayered eclectic music that ranged from an imitation of a battered-up LP to outer-space escapades on the electronica and double bass. Andraž Jež
May 2012 | All About Jazz Italy by Vincenzo Roggero
Galeotta fu Rotterdam. O meglio il dipartimento di jazz del locale Conservatorio. Goncalo Almeida, contrabbassista, e Susana Santos Silva, trombettista, entrambi portoghesi, incontrano il batterista canadese Greg Smith e gettano le basi di quello che sarebbe poi diventato il trio denominato Lama. Un incontro fortuito per dar vita ad un trio speciale. Talmente speciale da apparire come una delle stelle luminose di questa prima parte di duemiladodici. Non saranno certo la palpabile affinità elettiva della Santos nei confronti di Bill Dixon o la chiara assonanza estetica con alcuni gruppi di Rob Mazurek e di Cuong Vu, a offuscare la luminosità del trio. Che brilla di luce propria, possiede una personalità fortemente definita, produce una musica che lascia senza fiato, nella quale tutti i possibili riferimenti si disintegrano per ricomporsi in straordinario pulviscolo sonoro.
Il contrabbasso espande i suoi tentacoli grazie anche all’uso di pedaliera e di loops, la tromba fruisce di processori digitali in tempo reale, ma sono solo dettagli tecnici perché gli strumenti vibrano in modo del tutto naturale come voce dell’anima e della mente. Benché composto da otto brani, ciascuno dalla forte connotazione e dalla struttura sfaccettata, Oneiros si può gustare come un unico, sorprendente sogno, popolato da personaggi variegati, più o meno reali – Dr. No, scimpanzé, pinguini, Tarantino – e da magie sonore degne del più ispirato affabulatore.
Ci sono melodie e brandelli di melodie – memorabile quella vagamente felliniana della title- track. C’é una pulsazione elastica, scura, profondamente acustica anche quando contaminata dall’elettronica – impossibile non riandare con la memoria al Charlie Haden versione Liberation Music Orchestra. Ci sono macchie di visionarietà – un caso il conclusivo “Tarantino”? – e cellule ritmiche che fluttuano leggere tra le diverse ambientazioni. Ma soprattutto vi è un concetto di “improvvisazione dolce” che rende entusiasmante il fluire di una musica che cresce di bellezza ascolto dopo ascolto.
The spark was Rotterdam. Or rather the jazz department of the local conservatory. Gonçalo Almeida, bassist, and Susana Santos Silva, trumpeter, both from Portugal, meet the Canadian drummer Greg Smith and layer the foundations of what would later become the trio called Lama. A chance encounter to create a special trio. So special as to appear as one of the bright stars of this first part of 2012. Certainly it will not be the palpable affinity of Santos with Bill Dixon or the clear aesthetic similarity with some groups of Rob Mazurek and Cuong Vu, that will obscure the brightness of the trio. It shines its own light, has a strongly defined personality, produces a music that leaves you breathless, in which all the possible references disintegrate to recompose again into an extraordinary dusty sound.
The double bass expands its tentacles thanks to the use of pedals and loops, the trumpet receives digital processing in real time, but they are just technical details because the instruments vibrate in a natural way as the voice of the soul and mind. Although composed of eight tracks, each with a strong connotation and the faceted structure, Oneiros can be enjoyed as a unique, amazing dream, populated by diverse characters, more or less real – Dr. No, chimpanzees, penguins, Tarantino – and a magic sound worthy of the most inspired storyteller.
There are fragments of melodies and tunes – memorable one vaguely Fellini’s title track. There is a pulsation elastic, dark, deeply acoustic even when contaminated by electronics – impossible not to think back to the memory version of Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra. There are patches of visionary – like the case of the final “Tarantino”? – And rhythmic cells that float lightly between the different environments. But above all there is a concept of “sweet improvisation” that makes exciting the flow of a music that grows of beauty at every new listening.
May 2012 | by Farnè
Per quanto concerne la ricerca jazzistica di oggi, l’ormai sterminato catalogo della Clean Feed costituisce una riserva aurea; non saranno tutti capolavori, ma è qua-si impossibile incappare in un cd scontato. Emblematica della linea dell’etichetta portoghese è la mu-sica del giovane trio Lama. Innanzi tutto spicca l’aspetto compositivo (sei degli otto brani sono scritti da Almeida), che articola l’incedere in strutture movimentate e sempre diverse, mai banali, assegnando ruoli e spazi ben definiti ai membri del trio. Ognuno di essi contribuisce nella stessa misura al risultato complessivo. La pronuncia scabra e magnifica della trombettista può ricordare quella di Rob Mazurek o Dennis González. Il drive austero e ponderato del contrabbassista conferisce sicurezza all’andamento, mentre le percussioni di Smith forniscono un sottofondo misurato, salvo caratterizzarsi sotto il profilo dinamico e timbrico nelle sortite solistiche. Gli inserimenti elettronici sono amministrati con accortezza ed efficacia da Silva e Almeida.
With regard to the research of jazz today, Clean Feed catalog is a gold reserve, they will not be all masterpieces, but it is almost impossible to run into a cd foregone. Emblematic of the Portuguese label line is the music of the young trio Lama. First of all, stands out the composition aspect (six of the eight songs are written by Almeida), which articulates the gait structures in the lively and ever-changing, never dull, and well-defined spaces by assigning roles to members of the trio. Everyone of them contributes in the same measure to the outcome comprehensive income. The rough and magnificent pronunciation of the trumpeter may recall that of the trumpeter Rob Mazurek or Dennis González. The austere and weighted drive of the bass player gives security to the progress, while the percussion of Smith provide a measured background, unless characterized in terms of dynamic and timbre in solo sorties. The entries are electronic but administered with shrewdness and effectiveness of Silva and Almeida.
Público, May 2012 | by Nuno Catarino
Um trio que não tem medo de ligar a electricidade
O nome de Susana Santos Silva já não deverá soar totalmente desconhecido. A trompetista integra a notável Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos, lançou recentemente um primeiro disco na condição de líder (o recomendável “Devil’s Dress”) e tem espalhado talento em projectos alheios, sendo o caso mais recente o álbum “Motor” de André Fernandes. Nos vários contextos Susana já confirmou a sua elevada qualidade técnica, além de uma refinada elegância no seu som.
Neste trio LAMA a trompetista está acompanhada pelo compatriota Gonçalo Almeida (contrabaixo, electrónica) e pelo canadense Greg Smith (bateria). O grupo trabalha um conjunto de composições – na maior parte originais de Almeida – com grande flexibilidade, expandindo-as através da improvisação pela capacidade individual de cada um dos músicos, que as vão moldando e integrando novos elementos.
Elemento essencial, característico e precioso neste “Oneiros” é a vertente electrónica – que infelizmente parece ainda passar ao lado da maior parte dos projectos com alguma ligação jazz, mesmo aqueles que nasceram neste século. Para os LAMA a electrónica não se limita à utilização de samples (responsabilidade de Gonçalo Almeida), mas também passa pelo som processado electronicamente dos instrumentos – contrabaixo e, pontualmente, trompete. Nas várias situações esta ligação à tomada é inteligentemente integrada, com os sons electrónicos a saberem entrar de forma sóbria, assumindo a sua presença ao longo de todo o trabalho.
A utilização de variados recursos técnicos permite ao trio a criação de ambientes distintos, num disco que, aparentando desafio e complexidade, se desvenda altamente recompensador para o ouvinte, na sua rica diversidade: alegria, groove, energia, melodismo, delicadeza, surpresa. Esta música electro-acústica faz da originalidade o seu ponto de honra, sendo difícil encontrar paralelo com esta sonoridade. E isto é um dos melhores elogios que um músico que almeja a criatividade pode receber.
Time Out, May 2012 | by José Carlos Fernandes
AAJ, April 2012 | AAJ by Mark F.Turner
From the seeds of invention planted at a conservatory in Rotterdam in 2008, through experimentation and fruitful hard work, the Portuguese-based trio LAMA delivers a wild ride with Oneiros , their debut album and one of the best releases in 2011. The music is equal parts avant-garde and modern jazz, mixed by trumpeter Susana Santos Silva [Devil’s Dress (TOAP, 2011)], bassist Gonçalo Almeida—both of whom provide electronic embellishments—and Greg Smith on drums.
From the onset of “Alguidar,” the trio’s bold inventions make a cutting impression—the sound of static, an ethnic melodic riff, ethereal sounds of acoustic and processed persuasions. In the end, it all comes down to musicians with complete facility on their instruments creating art through inventiveness, where compositions emerge and reshape at the drop of a dime with changes in tempo, heated exchanges, robust solos, and plenty of room for experimentation.
The title track could be the soundtrack for some art-house independent film with Smith’s tribal-beat toms. There is also the grindhouse aura of “Tarantino,” where Silva’s opulent horn is silhouetted against the eerie presence of the pedal effects generated from Almeida’s bass. The ominous tone finds respite in “Melodia Minúscula,” a beauteous flowering of soft trumpet tones, a simple bass ostinato, and percussion colorizations. It’s like waking up in on different planet that is still personal and familiar.
Two of the more memorable pieces make bold statements. “Overture for Penguins” is an onslaught of sound: trumpet trills, chaotic drumming, and a dirge-themed melody. Silva’s “My Fucking Thesis” is not only brash in name, but also features some remarkably spirited playing. Oh, and let’s not forget “The Chimpanzee Who Told Man How to Cry,” where Silva’s digitally processed horn builds around her trio mates’ tempestuous playing. 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.
Free Jazz, March 2012 |Free Jazz by Paul Acquaro
Lama is an electronically enhanced acoustic drum, bass and trumpet trio that has delivered an excellent album with “Oneiros”. 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.
For the most part, the instruments are used fairly conventionally, though the musicans are not prone to hold back from extended technique when the moment calls, or use electronic processing and real-time loops to create new possibilities. Trumpeter and group leader Susana Santos Silva plays mostly with a clean and dynamic tone. Bassist Goncalo Almeida’s upright sound is perfect support for Silva, as he produces a rich sound that contracts nicely with the more subtle use of electronics. Greg Smith’s drumming and percussion is an important connection between the other instruments, whether creating texture or coming up with a smart groove.
The first tune, ‘Alguidar’ contains a little of everything, from a static-laden start that seques into an nonabrasive noise jam and then into a complex groove between Almeida and Smith. Silva delivers, over the elastic time, some possibly Ayler-inspired martial themes but goes far beyond them into a spirited improvisation.
‘Overture for Penguins’ begins with a simple but effective theme bowed on the bass. Electronics crackle and spit, and soon comes in Smith’s colorful percussion and Silva’s crystal clear and driving trumpet. A playful juxtaposition of light and dark rhythms help conjure a delightful tension, and as the tune unfolds, it takes on an almost rock-ish dimension.
A tune whose title speaks to me, ‘My Fucking Thesis’, circles around in an echo filled chamber of angular ideas and passionate argument. The electronics are used here for texture and fill, like cross hatching in a sketch. The brittle fizzle and digital spittle adds depth to the acoustic lines. Moments towards the end of the song, and especially in the next tune ‘The Chimpanzee Who Told Man How To Cry’ remind me of Miles Davis, somewhere between the minimalist funk of Miles in the Sky and the sheer power of Bitches Brew. Quieter moments, like in the title track, display a sensitive and melodic fragility that exudes a certain melancholy.
Overall ‘Oneiros’ is a dynamic album with a lot to offer the listener. It defies the conventional but is also quite accessible. Highly enjoyable and grows better and better with each listen.
March 2012 | Gapplegate Music Review, by Grego Applegate Edwards
Lama, “Oneiros”: Contemporary Modern Jazz from Portugal
Lama is a trio of Susana Santos Silva on trumpet, flugel and electronics; Goncalo Almeida on contrabass plus effects and loops; and Greg Smith on drums. Their album Oneiros (Clean Feed 240) gives us a good hearing of what they are about with eight pieces, six by Almeida and one apiece by Silva and Smith.
First off, a quibble. Sometimes the electronics on the pieces sound extraneous and unnecessary, little sounds akin to surface noise or digital distortion. I found it most times a distraction to what was going on elsewise. Once I recognized what it was I was hearing (not my stereo blowing up) I managed to partially tune it out and concentrate on the other musical voices. Other times the electronics seem more integral to the proceedings. There are only a few sections that have this sort of electronic undercurrent, so it is a minor concern.
This is contemporary trio jazz with Silva’s trumpet defining the sound distinctively. Much of the music works around motives that repeat and transform, solos following in part the impetus and implications of the motif. Silva’s brass work tends to be puckish in interesting ways, she does not often let loose with long strings of improvisational speech but more often sticks to short stabbing cells that she works out of. Goncalo has a more long-phrased approach and does some quite interesting work within the collective format. Greg Smith plays nicely free or swinging drums depending on the context and is a good addition.
All-in-all this is a quite interesting set. It is so as much or more so compositionally-conceptually as it is improvisationally in any long-lined linear sense. But that in part is what makes the music different.
I found the music stimulating. Let us see where they go from here.
“Oneiros” | JazzWrap, by Stephan Moore
“Susana Santos Silva has teamed up with fellow Portuguese bassist, Goncalo Almeida and Canadian drummer Greg Smith for Lama. This trio has seemingly conjured up one of the most superb debuts, Oneiros, in the last few months. Silva shows really diversity during this session which is more experimental and ethereal in parts.
“Alguidar” opens with a rousing Latin march beat from Smith which moves quickly into some breathy atmospheric work from Silva before the trio settle into calm melody which later sees some exchanges between Almeida and Silva. The piece then settles gently with crackles, pops and jagged notes into its conclusion.
“Overture for Penguins” starts off like something off an early Chris & Cosey album moving through a number of changes and tempos. All this while each musician demonstrates a rich and highly versatile sense of improvisation. Almeida delivers a lovely solo shortly before the end that is soft yet penetrating.
The melodic and touching qualities of Silva’s playing and the calm pacing present by Almeida create an uplifting atmosphere around “Melodia Minuscula” that is refreshing as it is enveloping. There are moments where you could mistake this trio for John Zorn’s Masada. The well crafted “The Chimpanzee Who Told” has an fast reverberating Eastern quality to that feels likes a bridge between the musical aesthetics. The piece builds quickly and then plummets into a kind of joyous romp that allows Greg Smith to have a great solo opportunity flying the group outward.
“Tarantino” is the most daring piece on Oneiros. Filled with electronics and muted effects its a great display of the diversity of this trio. Silva’s trumpet is high in the mix giving a sense of rising climax to the conclusion of really wonderful journey. More seated in the drone sounds of indie rock than experimental jazz but highly effective indeed.
I’ve had Oneiros on sort of a revolving spin in my CD player for the last month. This combined with Santos Silva’s debut has been a fantastic revelation for me. Both dense, diverse and exploring the unexpected. Oneiros is filled with ideas that will want you having Lama record together again and again on a regular basis. Let’s hope so. I plead them. Highly Recommended!” Stephan Moore
“Oneiros” Review by Enrico Betinello
Blow Up Magazine, Italy
El Intruso @ Grupo Revelación 2011
Jazz.pt @ Best of 2011
JAZZNYTT | Norway
“Oneiros” EJazz News, Glenn Astarita
With her impressive 2011 debut as a leader “Devil’s Dress” (TOAP Music) and involvement in various European projects, highly-educated trumpeter Susana Santos Silva looms as a nascent voice within progressive-jazz circles. Here, the Portuguese artist works within the trio format. It’s a democratic engagement modeled on structure and deft expressionism akin to a multicolored water painting, where textural layers and atmospherics complement odd-metered unison choruses and knotty improvisational processes. Moreover, the band injects some Spanish bravura into the mix, contrasting loose movements, yearning lines and efficient use of space.
With free-form burnouts, eerie interludes and pensive soloing spots, the band executes a topsy-turvy sequence of events and presents a rather malleable outlook. The electronics are primarily used as additives or treatments atop accenting choruses and meticulously crafted solos. On “Overture for Penguins,” Goncalo Almeida gets matters under way with an EFX treated bass line that segues into a lightly flowing bass-drum ostinato groove via off-centered linear phrasings and Santos’ densely organized phrasings. And they branch out into an ascending impetus amid the numerous ebbs, flows, spikes, and a bridge section that spawns a sense of loneliness.
“Oneiros” is a prime example of Portugal’s thriving spin on jazz-centric expansionism. Therefore, Lama is a band that imparts a signature voice due to an abundance of persuasive concepts and alternating frameworks.”
by Rui Eduardo Paes
“Oneiros”, Music is Good, by Dave Summer
Don’t believe the opening notes of Lama‘s Oneiros… they’re a lie and they’ll steer you the wrong way. The pronounced bounce and charge of trumpet and bass is like a doorway into a confused Ringling Bros. tent. It’s the opening statement to both song and album. It says, hey, this is what it’s all about. But it’s a lie. Because after the first 30 seconds, the carnival packs up and leaves town, and all that remains are long beautiful trumpet calls, low and serene, over a sea of electronics and gentle rhythms. It’s a dramatic moment on a dramatic album.
Your Personnel for this album: Gonçalo Almeida (bass), Greg Smith (drums), Susana Santos Silva (trumpet). They all chip in on the electronics.
The tempo and volume pick up on that first tune, then shift back down to staccato bursts of uneven sound, but Smith’s brushwork keeps it tied back to the serenity that grows distant on the horizon but keeps barely in sight. It gets one to thinking they know where they stand on this album.
Keep your eye on that horizon, because the serenity is coming back. Hard to see it, but the thump of solo percussion foretells of its arrival, and the long strides of bass give credence to the promise. Santos returns with beveled notes that rise up and down at odd angles. Electronics swirl about her like desert wind. It appears that all is right with the world again. But don’t believe that… it’s a lie and it’ll steer you the wrong way.
Oneiros is a name for the lord of Dream, and even in the most mundane of dreams, nothing is like it seems and nothing stays the same way for very long. And for this, Lama has most certainly not recorded a mundane dream. Sometimes it’s a spy story as with the suave “Dr. No”, and sometimes it’s an animated animal journey like the chipper “Overture for Penguins”. Don’t miss the firefly waltz of “Melodia Minúscula,” especially not after the naked-in-the-high-school-hallways nightmare of “My Fucking Thesis.”
The album ends as it began, with the unnerving bounce and charge dispelled by a serene slow-build of benign tension. And as before, the electronics whip around, now with more bite, perhaps in anticipation that the dream will soon be over.
Thankfully, once ended, recapturing it is as simple as pressing the play button.
Oneiros by Lama is a 47 minute recording of modern jazz, released on the excellent Clean Feed label, who has time again proven themselves unafraid to take chances with challenging recordings.”
LAMA,Oneiros: Let’s just call this avant-garde. A trio consisting of jazzers Susana Santos Silva on trumpet, Gonçalo Almeida on bass, and Greg Smith on drums, with heavy infusions of electronica, Lama has contructed an alluring set of dissonance and drive. Her excellent 2011 release Devil’s Dress already on her resume, Santos continues to develop her voice, and the interplay between all three despite challenging compositions speaks to their history together. Also on the Clean Feed label, who smartly scooped this trio up.
Festival Jazz.PT . Dec’11
Gonçalo Almeida – contrabaixo, electrónica
Susana Santos Silva – trompete, electrónica
Greg Smith – bateria
lançamento do disco “Oneiros” (Clean Feed)
Entre o “mainstream” e a vanguarda, a composição «de lápis e borracha» e a improvisação, o jazz acústico e o “soundscaping” electrónico, o trio nascido em Roterdão apresenta-se no festival da jazz.pt com uma proposta que quer fazer a diferença.
O trio LAMA nasceu em Roterdão, na Holanda, em 2008, na sequência do encontro de dois alunos do conservatório local, o contrabaixista Gonçalo Almeida e a trompetista Susana Santos Silva, com o baterista canadiano Greg Smith, que frequentava a academia de dança geminada com o edifício da escola de música – era então músico acompanhante das aulas de dança contemporânea, integrando já grupos em que o factor “groove” é essencial, como Colonel Red’s Sweet Liberation e Hungry Gods.
Três anos depois, surge este primeiro CD, “Oneiros”, uma edição da prestigiada Clean Feed em apresentação no Festival jazz.pt. Conta Almeida: «Há já algum tempo que tinha a ideia de criar um trio sem instrumento harmónico em que as bases fossem assentes na escrita de “lápis e borracha”, ou seja, em concílio com a improvisação livre ou a composição espontânea, como se preferir chamar.» Dito e feito…
Várias formações portuguesas ou transnacionais têm nos últimos anos surgido da procura de maiores conhecimentos musicais fora do País, por parte de jovens portugueses que partem à aventura. O mentor do LAMA para ali rumou em 2003 e ali permanece, desdobrando-se em vários projectos – um deles o quarteto Tetterapadequ, já editado em disco. Outros têm sido o Atos e o Michal Osowsky Collectiveou. Com especial agrado recorda a experiência que teve em trio com Carlos “Zíngaro” e Marco Franco.
Pelo seu lado, Susana regressou ao Porto e com base nesta cidade tem desenvolvido uma actividade cada vez mais visível e audível, seja enquanto elemento da Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos, com a qual teve a oportunidade de colaborar com figuras como Carla Bley, Lee Konitz, Kurt Rosenwinkel, John Hollenbeck, Mark Turner e Chris Cheek, como à frente do seu próprio quinteto. Antes mesmo de conhecer a trompetista, já Gonçalo Almeida tinha como assente trabalhar com Smith: «Desde o início ficou claro para mim que deveria ser ele a tomar as baquetas. Aliás, já tinha tocado com o Greg em “jam sessions”, assim como em trabalhos com coreógrafos, recorrendo ao livre improviso. Ele é um camaleão musical, estando igualmente à vontade em contextos de jazz, funk e rock progressivo.» Um passo levou ao outro e o projecto foi ganhando forma… «A Susana gostou da ideia, o Greg também e o trio estava montado e acabou baptizado com o nome de LAMA. Pessoalmente, sempre gostei mais de ter uma designação colectiva do que de utilizar o meu nome pessoal e indicar a quantidade de músicos: Gonçalo Almeida Trio soa-me mal.»
Este emigrante do jazz começou a compor especificamente para a banda e logo desde o começo com a ideia de utilizar material pré-gravado (“samples”) e de processar os instrumentos acústicos por meio de dispositivos electrónicos, que vão desde os pedais de efeitos a um “laptop”. O objectivo: «Criar um misto de improvisação e “soundscaping”, com resultados frescos, singulares e desafiantes. O som do trio desenvolveu-se e depois de termos tocado em Portugal, Holanda e Bélgica, chegou o momento de ir para o estúdio. O disco está aí», refere.
Em “Oneiros”, é Gonçalo Almeida o principal compositor, mas o trabalho incorpora ainda um tema de Greg Smith e outro de Susana Santos Silva, pelo que, como ajuíza o nosso interlocutor, o disco «acaba por ser uma representação das várias referências musicais e sonoras dos três». Musicalmente, o LAMA toca «um jazz electroacústico que ignora ostensivamente as linhas de separação entre “mainstream” e vanguarda».
O concerto de lançamento será um convite «a viajar pelo imaginário musical do disco». Neste, transparece o estado onírico de uma música que tem uma forte influência ambiental e visual e que serpenteia nas linhas de distinção (ou de confluência) entre diversas práticas musicais.
Rui Eduardo Pais
December 2011 | A Trompa
Formados em 2008, em Roterdão (Holanda), os LAMA são um trio formado pelos portugueses Susana Santos Silva (trompete) e Gonçalo Almeida (contrabaixo) e pelo canadiano Greg Smith (bateria). O trio apresentou há dias o seu disco de estreia, no Festival Jazz.pt. Chama-se “Oneiros” e é um registo com selo Clean Feed.
“(…) Em “Oneiros”, é Gonçalo Almeida o principal compositor, mas o trabalho incorpora ainda um tema de Greg Smith e outro de Susana Santos Silva, pelo que, como ajuíza o nosso interlocutor, o disco «acaba por ser uma representação das várias referências musicais e sonoras dos três». Musicalmente, o LAMA toca «um jazz electroacústico que ignora ostensivamente as linhas de separação entre “mainstream” e vanguarda» (…)” Rui Eduardo Paes
December 2011 |Hardmusica
O espaço Arte & Manha recebeu no dia 02 de Novembro o primeiro dia do festival jazz.pt.
Inseridos no evento, os LAMA apresentaram o seu primeiro CD, “Oneiros”, um álbum com sonoridades distintas, misturando o jazz com a música electrónica em perfeita harmonia.
O trio composto por Susana Santos Silva, Gonçalo Almeida e Greg Smith abriu com “Oneiros”, o tema que dá nome ao álbum.
Seguiram-se temas também inseridos no disco, como “My Funkin’ Tesis”, “O Chimpanzé que Ensinou o Homem Como Devia Chorar” e “Alguidar”.
O ambiente na casa foi calmo, caloroso e quase místico, estando os espectadores envolvidos numa espécie de transe.
O jazz dos LAMA é inovador, vanguardista e fora das convenções. A exploração do som é feita por todos e por cada elemento da banda: Susana constrói e desconstrói sons no trompete, Gonçalo toca o contrabaixo como se o estivesse a namorar e Greg tão depressa pegava nas baquetas como atacava a bateria com as próprias mãos.
A música electrónica ouvia-se quase como um ruído de fundo, harmonizando todas as sonoridades, tornando-as numa só.
Após o concerto, o Hardmusica entrevistou o trio em conversa informal. O projecto LAMA começou em 2008, quando Gonçalo conheceu Susana no Conservatório de Roterdão, na Holanda.
A ideia de formar um trio sem harmónicos rapidamente surgiu e Gonçalo convidou o canadiano Greg, que já conhecia.
As influências da banda vão desde o pop ao afro-beats, o que lhes confere uma sonoridade muito característica: “Acho que sobretudo é importante ouvir boa música, de todos os tipos. E ouvir como ouvinte também, não só numa perspectiva de análise”.
No entanto, a banda confessa que “agora não há nada novo. Há reinvenções.”.
A amizade entre os elementos da banda, o seu sentido de humor e simpatia pautaram a entrevista e o concerto de diferentes maneiras.
Um jazz fresco, natural e sentido que aqueceu a noite no Arte & Manha. E se já não existe novidade e tudo não passa de uma reinvenção, os LAMA são uma das mais bem conseguidas no panorama actual. Curioso?
December 2011 | JAZZ.PT #39