A tale unfolds cs813









So also with a meandering quality, but more around a feel for narrative, A tale unfolds (recorded in Lisbon last December) reprises the acoustic quintet formation from Dérive (first reviewed here last March...), adding three musicians in clarinetists Noel Taylor & Ziv Taubenfeld, as well as Guilherme Carmelo (on baritone electric guitar). The latter was new to me, not often distinctly audible here (but perhaps appearing in parallel with the guitar from Ernesto Rodrigues' textural septet milestone Stratus, reviewed January 2019...). However, the reed players join Bruno Parrinha (also on clarinet) to balance more against the strings (the two Rodrigueses & bassist João Madeira...) — with percussionist Monsieur Trinité appearing again as well, & without an intervening release in his case (& so perhaps marking this formation especially as a continuation of that from Dérive, as the others are already frequent collaborators...). So Dérive also suggested more of an "étude" format, with a series of rather specific tracks, whereas A tale unfolds proceeds in more arbitrary directions & with less tension, i.e. as a large group conversation.... There can thus be less focus at times, also a "smoothing" overall due to the added players, less clarity as to who's doing what, yet a mellow sense of movement & working through. A tale unfolds can almost sound casual, making for a subtly dynamic background for some of the various (unusual for me, with various vendors, etc.) goings on over my past few days: There's little in the way of confrontation, for instance... more suppleness. (And like Dérive, the mix & master is from Madeira.) Perhaps the biggest impression is then the narrative coherence of this octet, despite its various musical tangents in performance. It's the stronger album of the two here, in that sense. And will there be another followup, whether by the core quintet or along with others? A tale unfolds does seem to be another step on the way... to somewhere. Todd McComb's Jazz Thoughts