A Portuguese “Jazzician” living and learning the London Music School that I have met already once or twice in this journey of life, has now released his first original composition. And it is true that our friends in common would comment on how good he was. However one can never expect such quality and maturity in a “first release”. “Arboresque” decomposed in Part One and Part Two is the first product of Afonso Albuquerque, an eleven-minute strong statement on how “Jazz is Not Dead”.
The first part of “Arboresque” is the shortest one with just a couple of angelic vocals from Inês Franco, perfectly coordinated either with the guitar at first and all of a sudden with the whole orchestra with a sonority that would takes us to the universe that Afonso has prepared for us in his composition. It can not be considered an introduction due to its presence and relevance. We are, after this first song, inside of a necessary mellow to enjoy with delight what is about to come.
With some lines from Part One, with vocals never abandoning their function as another instrument, and not thought provoking and confusing (with lyrics), Afonso lets the Jazz flow and starts unveiling what he had hidden all this time, in this planet of his, “Arboresque”. One solo as you haven’t heard many from the hands of such a young artist, with a total coherence with the whole first work he offers us on SoundCloud. However what would be a great Jazz composition without the Winds! The instruments that are played directly from the soul. And that is when the Sax goes wild and keeps surprising me every step of the way with all the “colours” and layers of “Arboresque”. Finally the obvious drums start demonstrating their personality until the seventh minute of the song when the whole band gathers back again in one unique sound guided by the vocals and soothing down until an inevitable end.
The last touch of perfection is without a doubt the amazing ArtWork by Beatriz Moura for the cover of this work, a great friend of mine that started selling book markers to friends and strangers and is now probably one of my favourite contemporaneous artists, with a lot of recognition within her peers.
A Great listen everyday of the week, that proves us that Jazz has people behind it ready to back it off and make it great again!