Fala Mariam-alto trombone
Nuno Torres-alto saxophone
Sei Miguel-pocket trumpet, composition, arrangements, direction
Sei Miguel is no longer the "best kept secret" of the Portuguese creative music scene, as a British journalist once wrote: by this time his discography is disputed by the most demanding collectors in the world, and here it is a precious title to add to that list. Now fronting a group of eight players, the (pocket) trumpeter signs a marvelous treaty of jazz orchestration. Yes, jazz: it may sound excentric to some, but there's passages in "O Carro de Fogo de Sei Miguel" that would excite all the Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders fans.
The instrumentation is unconventional, with three horns (including the less used alto trombone), a virtual organist, (virtual because the organ sounds - fundamental to the music - are introduced by a laptop computer), guitar, bass guitar, a percussionist dealing only with metals and skins, and another only with wood. The band includes musicians coming from rock, experimental music and free improvisation, this combination explaining part of the open approach to the jazz tradition. Each contribution is a little part of the whole, with the collective factor slowly building, through the repetition or subtle variation of short phrases. The built movement gets similar to the waves of the sea arriving at the beach sand, the end coming with a "fire music"-like climax (Carro de Fogo means Fire Car, by the way). What a journey!