Considered one of the most talented and sui generis portuguese bassists of his generation, after a seven-year hiatus without presenting any record under his own name, Hugo Carvalhais, one of the best kept secrets of Portugal's jazz scene, is back with an album and he never stops surprising us.
After three internationally acclaimed albums with the participation of musicians such as Tim Berne, Emile Parisien Dominique Pifarély, Mário Costa and Gabriel Pinto, there is something new coming up. "Nebulosa" (2010, Clean Feed Records) introduced us to the infinitely great. "Particula" (2012, Clean Feed Records) was about the infinitely small. Between these two immeasurable extremes "Grand Valis" (2015, Clean Feed Records) questioned the nature of the outer reality we perceive and where we move in everyday life. And here we come across the new "Ascetica" (2022, Clean Feed Records), a plunge into our inner selves and the depths of consciousness that has always been there since the beginning of human experience. It is in this unfathomable place that since the dawn of time we have been confronted with enigmas, beauty, fear, wonder, light and darkness.
Shrouded in strangeness and mystery, "Ascetica" is based on a search for those fleeting moments, when something magical occurs. The term “magical” is a simplification - because these moments are actually inexplicable. They only occur from time to time. We don't know why or how. As lovers of jazz music, we sometimes recognise them. That is the quest. That is what Carvalhais is attempting to achieve. We encounter them in “Ascetica”.
released March 18, 2022
Hugo Carvalhais doublebass, electronics
Emile Parisien soprano saxophone
Liudas Mockunas tenor saxophone, clarinet
Fábio Almeida alto saxophone, flute
Gabriel Pinto piano, organ, synthesizer
Mário Costa drums
All compositions by Hugo Carvalhais except 3, 7, 12 by Hugo Carvalhais and Gabriel Pinto
Recorded October 2021 by João Bessa at Miramar Session Studios, Serafim Borges at Groovewood studios and Mareike Sindermann at Tundra Estúdio | Mixed and mastered by João Bessa
Produced by Hugo Carvalhais | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Artwork by Machado Leão | Design by Travassos | Liner notes by Gonçalo Falcão