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Laginha/Argüelles/Norbakken: Setembro review – intuitive and vivacious jazz

The tunes are terrific … Mário Laginha, Julian Argüelles and Helge Andreas Norbakken.
The tunes are terrific … Mário Laginha, Julian Argüelles and Helge Andreas Norbakken.

Some of the intuitive communion between saxophonist Julian Argüelles and the late pianist John Taylor is recalled on the radiant exchanges Argüelles and Portuguese pianist Mário Laginha share on Setembro – though Laginha’s compositions have a chemistry of communal vivacity and lyricism all of their own. Laginha is widely known for his work with his quirky vocal compatriot Maria João, and the improv conversations with Argüelles and softly hand-drumming Norwegian percussionist Helge Andreas Norbakken exhibit comparably quick-thinking independence. Some of Laginha’s breathless dances – such as the staccato, skippy Mãos na Parede or Fisicamente – stretch Argüelles’s seamless fluency on soprano and tenor saxes to the utmost, and illustrate why he’s blossomed into one of Europe’s most inventive saxophonists since his Loose Tubes beginnings. The gracefully unfolding, vamp-rooted Serralves and Argüelles’ own Hugger Mugger have a laid-back, Andy Sheppard-like warmth, the tunes are terrific, whether full-on or vaporously misty. Norbakken’s softly flappy, pattering drum sound enhances this fine set’s unique character.

This article titled "Laginha/Argüelles/Norbakken: Setembro review – intuitive and vivacious jazz" was written by John Fordham, for The Guardian on Thursday 12 October 2017 05.45pm

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