Ernesto Rodrigues / Hernâni Faustino / Patricia Brennan / Abdul Moimême / Maria do Mar / Miguel Mira

May 23, 2021

The Sudden Bird of Waiting

Creative Sources CS 874 CD

Moving beyond the timeworn concept of a “with strings” sweet lure, multi-instrumentalist Patrick Brennan and five Portuguese string players create spiky transformative collective improvisations. Well versed in these in-a-heartbeat sonic adjustments are violinist Maria do Mar, violist Ernesto Rodriguez, cellist Miguel Mira, bassist Herman Faustino and Abdul Moimême who with objects plays two guitars simultaneously. Moimême and Brennan, who plays cornet and alto saxophone recorded a fine duo session a couple of weeks earlier.

Novelty doesn’t impede innovation and the sextet is in sync from the get go with the guitar(s) and bass driving the animated theme, while the others supplement the exposition with spiccato string thrusts and col legno smacks. As these factors bleed into polyphony, Brennan often challenges the narrative with tremolo interjections or uses downwards sputters or snorting split tones to signal a logical climax. While he projects an occasional brass bite and roaring blank verse on “Nextness”, the emphasis throughout is on reed techniques which range from altissimo cries to low-toned buzzing smears. Instructively though “Nextness” includes a quieter largo section to better appreciate the intricate string intersections. Here and elsewhere the string section adapts and propels the exposition chromatically. Yet the ensemble affiliation is supplemented by brief arco or pizzicato projections, including mandolin-like stropping from one individual, squeaking multi-string sawing from another and Moimême’s shrill distorted dual rumbles.

Before the multiphonic suite dissolves completely on the concluding “O pássaro repentino da espera” proof of the strings adding another sound dimension through swelling and contracting undulations has been aptly demonstrated. The program is so strong that reading the phrase “with strings” applied to a Jazz session in future may suggest an alternate definition.

–Ken Waxman

Track Listing: 1. O largo aberto das diafonias alertas 2. Escorregada Möbial 3. Nextness 4. A que distância? 5. O pássaro repentino da espera

Personnel: Patrick Brennan (alto saxophone, cornet and jaguar); Maria do Mar (violin); Ernesto Rodrigues (viola); Miguel Mira (cello); Abdul Moimême (2 electric guitars played simultaneously with objects) and Hernâni Faustino (bass)