Júlio Resende | Fado Jazz Ensemble
by Jeff Becker
Júlio Resende is a Portuguese pianist and composer, born in Faro. Resende started to play piano at the age of four and attended the Conservatório for education in Classical Music. However, he soon discovered that he was not satisfied only being an interpreter of musical pieces and wanted more freedom through improvisation. That is when he started his journey as a composer and improviser. Resende has already released five albums that explore jazz and Latin jazz, and now he is exploring Fado. Fado Jazz Ensemble is Resende’s latest album that is a union of jazz and Fado. The nine songs reflect a perfect harmony in the association of these two musical genres. On the album is Bruno Chaveiro, guitar; André Rosinha, double bass; and Alexandre Frazão, drums. Lina Rodrigues is featured in one selection.
Vira Mais Cinco (Para o Zeca) is a catchy selection with a shifting rhythmic groove. The combination of Fado and jazz yields an exciting sound that is an exploration of rhythms. Chaveiro’s guitar and Resende’s piano pair-up to play the melody. Resende’s piano solo has many textures as he mutes the strings for various phrases to get new sounds and percussive accents.
“Al The Things -Alfama – Are” is based on the jazz standard “All The Things You Are.” Presented as a jazz ballad, the brushwork of Frazão is beautiful. Chaveiro’s nylon string guitar adds a mellow texture and ethereal sounds with an abundance of reverb. Resende’s variations on the theme are interesting and flow with the influence of jazz.
Fado Jazz Ensemble has enough Fado influence that it is different than a lot of ‘Latin’ jazz projects. The ensemble is well-rehearsed, and together they present nine songs that are enjoyable and easy on the ears. This project represents a union of Fado with jazz at heart. Resende keeps exploring his instrument, which at this moment has found a beautiful home in these pieces written with Fado influences.