Vampyroteuthis Infernalis

Artist: Luiz Moretto

Date of Release: 12/01/2015

Catalogue no: SLAM558

Label: SLAM

Price: £10

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Track Listing









Luiz Moretto – violin & rabeca
Alípio C Neto – tenor & soprano saxophone, Brazilian bells, whistles
Francesco Lo Cascio – vibraphone, percussion
Gianfranco Tedeschi – double bass
Marco Ariano – drums, percussion

Brazilian Luiz Moretto moved to Portugal in 2000 working with Lisbon’s African communities; he has worked with saxophonist Alípio C Neto almost a decade. The Vampire Squid from the deep sea (Vampyroteuthis Infernalis) is a metaphor of the actual components not included in the production of the mainstream aesthetics of modernity. It represents the forces under the human flows in a perception of all events occurred on the surface, creating a blend of magnificent and tragic encounters amongst different people and cultures producing unique musical expressions. The compositions are inspired on rhythms of Afro-Brazilian music giving the necessary freedom for intense improvisational interplays. It was Alípio’s idea to invite experienced musicians from within the Italian free jazz culture, namely Francesco Lo Cascio, Gianfranco Tedeschi and Marco Ariano, whose combined experience and creativity pervade the music.

Moretto has been a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology at King’s College London since 2012; together with his studies of musicians in rural areas of Brazil, this work shows in his fusion of the Afro-Brazilian rabeca (fiddle) and the free jazz aesthetics.




17/08/2015 Jason Bivins

(1) is a vivid, and wondrously engaging date, like an old Dolphy session with Hutch recorded on some far flung planet. The tart, keening sound of Moretto’s rabeca and violin interact really well with Neto’s horns, all suspended in a supple web of vibes, bass, and percussion. The band trades in a music that balances texture with rhythmic intensity, and it’s hard to deny how compelling that combination can be. Many of the pieces build from simple ideas, from the billowing texture of the opener to folkish lines of “Rope em Fuga,” to raw propulsion. It’s all shaped by three distinct band elements that blend marvelously: the intense expression of the two frontline players, the generous rhythm team (who really shape the music via the space they leave between the notes), and Lo Cascio’s vibes the coloristic middle. It’s cohesive, and as a group they play with control and dynamic variation. On tunes like “Rio” and “Rope em Fuga,” there’s a near romanticism that blooms with the largely free-ish music (think Motian in terms of the balance of abstraction, if not the actual musical language). But there’s also a propensity for quick dancing heads and bright melodies, at times recalling some of India Cooke’s groups. The soloists play bracingly, but it’s the moments of interplay that get me the most: the Dolphy-to-Rahsaan lope of the title track, the propulsive “Refracoes” and its hot counterlines, the earthy funk of the closer, with hard vibes playing of the grainy sound of the rabeca (the fiddle from northeastern Brazil). My one gripe is that the leader sometimes comes across as too understated on his own session, but that’s also something to admire. Do check this one out. Jason Bivins Cadence Oct 2015


01/05/2015 Brian Morton

Slam’s a rich source of new music from Italy and this, along with recent work by fellow violinist Stefano Pastor is among the most compelling. Moretto has a wild, slightly eldritch tone, with a fine instinct for rhythmic variation. Brazilian and African (Ghanaian?) sources collide and combine. Great support from the rest of the group; Neto’s already widely admired, but Lo Cascio is a monster who’ll be spreading alarm among the Chicago guys. Recommended.
Brian Morton Jazz Journal May 2015


02/02/2015 Ken Chatham

Exquisite bowing introduces the album in its opening track, "Espiral do Tempo", which continues on its way with lovely, spirited work from both violin and vibraphone. Lo Cascio sustains the saxes and violin beautifully in the absence of piano, as well as taking some enthusiastic solos. He studied the instrument originally at Berklee College, Boston, under the tutelage of Gary Burton and now has a busy programme of clubs, festivals, radio, television and teaching. He works within the Free Jazz culture in Italy, along with Marco Ariano and Gianfranco Tedeschi. These latter may be best known for their contribution together to the trio Xubuxue, with Elio Martusciello (laptop) appearing on the 10-CDMusica Improvvisa. This has become something of an obsession or cult 'must-have' for aficionados of Italian improv (anybody got a spare copy?).

All but tracks 6 and 7, which are collaborations with other band-members, were composed by Moretto and it will be clear that, in spite of the provenance of the musicians discussed, this is not 'free' music. Moretto hails from Brazil, moving to Portugal in 2000 and Alípio C Neto has worked with him for some ten years. Moretto's compositions are strongly evocative of Afro-Brazilian arrangements which allow the individual's improvisation to flourish. It's cool and there is a strong sense of empathy between the musicians which, with the strength of Lo Cascio's provision, holds it all together.

Reviewed by Ken Cheetham Jazz Views


01/01/2015 Bruce Lee Gallanter

TEDESCHI/MARCO ARIANO] - Vampyroteuthis Infernalis (Slam 558; UK) Featuring Luiz
Moretto on violin & rabeca, Alipio C Neto on tenor & soprano sax, Francesco Lo
Cascio on vibes, Gianfranco Tedeschi on double bass and Marco Ariano on drums.
Unlike the three other Italian discs from Slam that I reviewed today (1/1/15),
this quintet does feature a member with whom I know previously: Alipio C Neto,
who can be found on a few discs from the Clean Feed label. Mr. Moretto wrote all
but two songs here and co-wrote the other two with different band-members. The
opening song, "Espiral do Tempo" is laid back and features some fine solos from
the acoustic violin and vibes. Mr. Moretto sounds a bit like Jean-Luc Ponty in
his early days (late sixties) as he spins out those feisty lines. The violin and
soprano sax sound great together as they bend their notes in similar
snake-charming ways. Instead of using a piano, it is the vibes player who
supports the violin and sax so well. Vibesman Lo Cascio is also strong soloist
and takes a few inspired solos throughout this disc. I dig that this music is
often laid-back yet adventurous at the same time, loose but not really free.
What is interesting about this group is that they don't quite sound like anyone
else, even the leader's violin playing & sound is completely unique. There is a
section on "Refracoes Geometricas" where the violin, bowed bass, soprano sax and
percussion all swirl together in an unusual yet compelling way that stands out.
It sounds as if this quintet has been playing together for a while since no
matter how far they go out, there seems to be underlying connection between all
five players. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG


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