Altered Egos cs783









Turning straight back to another (quartet, in this case) release from Ernesto Rodrigues, and apparently my first review of a performance recorded in 2023 (in Lisbon last month), Altered Egos continues not only to elaborate a personal-collective style in the post-pandemic era, but prolific ongoing collaborations with Bruno Parrinha (here on both clarinet & alto sax) & João Madeira (double bass) in particular. Indeed, it seems an album such as Dérive (a quintet, recorded at the end of last year), featuring all three, comes to mark the forging & refining of a new body of musical figures & practices, transformational practices once again as invoked by the Altered Egos title. Joining that core trio for the latter then is Florian Stoffner (electric guitar) — whom I'd mentioned (in a March 2021 review) for his duo album with Paul Lovens, Tetratne on Hat — and Stoffner does inject some timbral variety, but mostly understated & seeking to blend. There's sometimes a ringing sense of electric guitar, especially for the first track of this relatively short album, but also a variety of glissandi & "elasticity" in general, a stark concluding landscape leading into more four-way free jazz counterpoint for the second track, more percussive & pointillistic, a more industrial (yet somehow zoomimetic...) feel developing only to fade away for the third & final.... There's thus a fairly typical arc for a new interaction, finding its way into what can become clearly articulated intricacy, in what can also seem (at least in the beginning) like a trio against a soloist. (And the eventual quartet sound is not so different from that of e.g. Aeon, as reviewed here in July, albeit with Flak on acoustic guitar & Rodrigues on violin.... Moreover, the latter is on crackle box here as well, something he also played on the new — likewise recorded in 2023 — Impromptu from Suspensão. For both though, the horn tends toward subtlety & color, less often centered or as strongly contoured as the strings....) 
In any case, it can be difficult to pick & choose what to discuss here, but the results from Rodrigues & Creative Sources seem to be in another particularly fertile (yet concentrated) period. In that fast-moving context then, Altered Egos did stand out to my ears overall for its detailed textural interactions & subtly lingering affect. Todd McComb's Jazz Thoughts


Per questo breve ma intenso album, sui 35 minuti, tre musicisti portoghesi, il contrabbassista João Madeira, Ernesto Rodrigues alla viola, e Bruno Parrinha al sax alto e clarinetto, sono raggiunti dal chitarrista sviizzero Florian Stoffner, un musicista a 360 gradi che ha frequentato sia l’area creativa che il jazz più ortodosso nell’ambito della sua lunga carriera.
La chitarra ben si relaziona in queste improvvisazioni collettive in cui ci si ascolta attentamente, senza mai mettere in mostra i muscoli grazie alla possibilità si usare un amplificatore, tutto è tranquillo e molto soft, a volte su atmosfere piú improntate al free, altrove il dialogo si fa più materico ma senza che nessuno sovrasti gli altri partecipanti.
La lunga frequentazione dei tre musicisti portoghesi si fa ovviamente sentire e ciò contribuisce all’integrazione di Stoffner, cosí che ne esce un dialogo molto intimo e coinvolgente, breve ma intenso.
Il tutto è ben mixato dal contrabbassista João Madeira, anche questo un ottimo contributo per cogliere l’essenza di questa musica. Vittorio Loconte (Kathodik)