Merz cs596









Turning to some other recent (or upcoming) Creative Sources releases involving Ernesto Rodrigues himself, I first want to mention Merz — recorded in Lisbon last November, also as part of CreativeFest #12 — with tubist Gil Gonçalves joining the Lisbon String Trio for its tenth album (or perhaps eleventh, counting Rhetorica with pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro, which has yet to appear). Gonçalves (b.1983) has already joined Rodrigues in e.g. IKB & VGO ensembles, but hadn't been noted here yet.... Having a tuba join the Lisbon String Trio also recalls the trombone iterations, Intonarumori (discussed here in August 2017, as part of the original series of six albums) &Tactile (discussed last July, and what I've called the "most diffuse" in the series), as well as the trumpet concertante-style album From Faust with Sei Miguel (also discussed here in July 2018). Of course, the latter involves a higher register, as most of the early Lisbon String Trio albums did, and so a more brilliant sound from the horn. However, presumably in part via mic'ing & mixing, Merz features the tuba quite prominently too, likewise lending a sort of concertante feel, in this case unusually so considering the instruments involved. The sometimes pointillistic strings are generally more active than the more restricted, often growling, legato tuba, but a fine balance is achieved in overall ensemble articulation & audibility nonetheless.... Indeed, such string & brass combos continue to appeal, and warrant further exploration — here in a more assertive mode that does sometimes recall e.g. Polyorchard (e.g. Sextet | Quintet as, once again, discussed here last July). Merz moreover seems to encompass both study & exhibition, making for a rather energetic & directly appealing "tuba album." It thus seems to be an album that could have wider appeal than any of the other (at least new) items mentioned in this entry (& with the possible, upcoming exception of Rhetorica, which I have yet to hear...). Todd McComb (Medieval .org)