MP3 Andre Fernandes - Cubo
One of the most original voices in jazz guitar today, having played with such greats as Lee Konitz, David Binney, Bill McHenry, and many others. "Cubo" was voted jazz album of the year by the Portuguese jazz press.
8 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Modern Creative Jazz, JAZZ: Contemporary Jazz
Fernandes is an extremely active guitarist and composer based in Lisbon, Portugal. His original and fresh
sound has been requested by the likes of Lee Konitz, David Binney, Julian Arguelles, Perico Sambeat, Ohad
Talmor, Maria João, and many other world class musicians with whom Fernandes has played regularly all over
Currently a member of the Lee Konitz New Nonet, ethnic singer Maria João ́s group, Perico Sambeat ́s 4tet,
and many other bands, Fernandes has united a group of some of the best musicians living in Lisbon, his home
after some years in New York City.
"CUBO" Review at AllAboutJazz by Phil DiPietro:
The young, thirty-one year old Portuguese guitarist Andre
Fernandes has control of his destiny, putting a multitude of
factors in play to foster his own creativity as well as those of
his talented cohorts. Like the protagonist of a self-help
program, Fernandes engages in activities (like heading up his
TOAP imprint) that engender circumstances allowing desired
results to flourish—in this case a string of gorgeous
small-group jazz sessions on TOAP. He also leads by example,
as each successive release raises the bar for his labelmates.
Cubo builds on the outstanding Timbuktu (Tone of a Pitch, 2006) with an equally
compelling set by his new band. Last time, he relied heavily on the contributions of
American keyboardist Pete Rende for inspiration. Now Portugal''s most renowned pianist,
Mario Laginha, known for his longstanding association with chanteuse Maria Joao, has
taken the giant step of joining forces with Fernandes. He''s all over this recording as
consummate soloist and colorist, showing ravenous capacity for the creative license allowed
How to explain and differentiate Fernandes'' thing? It involves erudite modern jazz infused
by a respect for the attitude and mood of modern rock, spiced with touches of jazz
“outness” coming solely from a colorist''s perspective. There''s little evidence of sounds
associated with the country—no Samba , no Bossa, no Fado—but anyone can hear a
freshness inspired by the particular song of the Portuguese Ocean, or the breezes that lift the
weight of the air there in summer. It is its own uplifting, transporting, sumptuous, very
These descriptors will mean more when listening to “Sal,” beginning with Laginha''s
arpeggiated waves, driven by the syncopations of Nelson Cascais on electric bass, floated
out by the ride cymbal of Alexandre Frazao. Surprisingly, Fernandes adds his own chorus,
not with the guitar effects pedals he''s mastered, but via multitracked vocals, his
volume-swelled guitar adding dramatic arc. Before we know it, our listening environment
becomes complicated, an ostinato guitar figure morphing into a head full of notes.
Fernandes'' transitions are truly seamless, his motific allusions illusory. Attention may be
diverted, an effect softened, before you''re swept into something else—like his magnificent
solo, grown slowly, as Fernandes often does, from a seed germinated only when the song is
stripped back to a pulse. Laginha goes skeletal, so the bass pulse and voices may better
abet Fernandes'' ascent. Building out of a reverb drenched sound spiced with rock
inflections and arching through more note clusters fueled by added distortion, the piece
then feathers in the sound of Fernandes'' trademark harmonizer. It''s this real-time
improvisation, with tone coloration at the same time as linear information, that makes
Fernandes so compelling a soloist.
Yes, this is the same band that can segue to “Perto,” or “Near,” accomplishing no less than
conveying the sentiment of the word with simple strumming of acoustic guitar and filigree
from the piano. The guitar solo is nearly superfluous, yet somehow captivating. Doesn''t that
define compulsive listening? So does Andre Fernandes.
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