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Zul Zeb by Jorge Lima Barreto

I am not intimately familiar with Jorge Lima Barreto’s output yet per the album notes, the title of this 2008 effort indicates the modus operandi of his ongoing musical partnership with Joao Marques Carriho. And it’s largely about the duo’s "radical conceptualist approach growing out of a theory of unrealized energy," and so on. Well, that’s quite a concept indeed. Here, Barreto is one his own and performs on acoustic piano during two extensive tracks that perhaps mimic many of the notions and elements cited within the album text. In effect, he looms as an experimentalist who communicates an existential framework via unlikely implementations and then some.

The first piece titled "Zul," is segmented into five parts, culled from a Lisbon, Portugal jazz festival. Here, the pianist uses a short-wave radio to augment his avant-garde chord voicings amid variances of pitch and tempo. As he instills a hybrid, retro-modernist like mood, due to the analogue waveform spiraling atop his oscillating and swarming phraseology, all interspersed with single note flurries. Essentially, Barreto renders imagery that might be akin to one who is communicating with the spirit world, where the radio looms as a hovering entity throughout the length of the piece. However, at forty-five minutes long, this workout seemed a bit superfluous. Maybe the live experience would have yielded more dividends.

The second piece "Zelub," signifies another concert performance and provides a slightly different perspective, as we find the artist using four CD players and piano. For this exercise, the he uses nature sounds, i.e. birds, and other creatures that mimic Baretto’s reference to ecomusic. To that end, he improvises while capturing the moment underneath the sounds of nature’s inherent rhythmic structures. No doubt about it, the artist possesses a unique vision: one that uncannily morphs free-form stylizations with renegade avant-garde type musings. Baretto unleashes a horde of curiously interesting propositions throughout.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Jorge Lima Barreto
  • CD Title: Zul Zeb
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Clean Feed
  • Musicians: Jorge Lima Barreto (piano, short wave radio, CD players)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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