On Saturday April 25 and under the Jazzahead Festival of Bremen, Germany, and Pascal Souza presented their new album. An open letter to music by 10 tracks for those who want to go with the Lusophone music and jazz.
"It is a further evolution of our music. They are compositions of Theo we've managed to give more room for improvisation. We topics made long ago and we take you through different phases of our lives, "says Carmen Souza Wiriko after his last concert in London, where he lives.
Recorded at Jazzpilon studies of English capital letter is the seventh album in the discography of the Cape Verdean and another example of an "organic jazz" that has marked the twelve years the duo has been working together. "I met Theo performing an audition for one of their projects as musical director," says Souza who has since not been separated from his friend.
And from that meeting Carmen and Theo began to delve into the traditional sounds of Cape Verde to combine with contemporary rhythms. Ess and Nha Cape Verde (2005 TheOo TheZz), their debut album, and Verdade (2008 Galileo Music Communications) marked the path where the coladeira, the morna or Batuque merged with jazz sung in Creole. "The reaction was very interesting because it liked the reinterpretation. It was something new and very cool but it belongs to the country, "describes Carmen Souza on his first performance in Cape Verde.
"The first musician to experiment with these rhythms and jazz was Horace Silver and then tested the saxofononista Luis Moraes but nothing was sung," said Souza.
The experience was risky but it was easier than expected thanks to improvisation and jazz provided by the simplicity of Cape Verdean music. "In the music of Cape Verde there are many similarities with the black jazz sung by slaves in labor camps. There is a link and that many of the missing Cape Verdean music using the same scales as black spirituals. It is very interesting to study this correlation because there is a big difference, "Souza says.
Carmen always had music as first choice since childhood and joined the gospel choir of his church. But the momentum of his father, working on cargo ships, made to study English and German translation. A career, college, which barely lasted a year. "I was cheating," he says the composer has since decided to pursue music.
"Music is something that scares me because it helps the person to unfold, to grow. Music is a way to find the naturalness and know yourself, "said the Cape Verdean. He continues, "it is very important for a musician to hear your inner voice as though the influences everyone has to make their own way". And that quest took Carmen and Theo acclaimed PROTECTED (2010 Galileo Music Communications) work where the union between the traditional sounds of Cape Verde and jazz consolidated naturally.
But the composer, born in Lisbon, is not content to stagnate. Having found the formula, Carmen Souza daily challenges her career to grow musically and since 2003 has been working without setting limits. "When I compose I do not think a Cape Verdean verse here and there. I do not say this sounds like Ella Fitzgerald or as Cesaria Evora. Is made based on something deeper, "says the singer.
With lyrics full of life, personal and social issues, about nature and full of spirituality, his compositions however try to avoid the universal theme of love. "The world has many love songs and singing I do not need that. You have to sing about more intense and common things. The world is full of love songs but do not see much from day to day, "he says with a bitter smile composer.
Following the presentation in Bremen, Epistle tour already has several dates in Europe to enjoy this new release that will live with the collaboration of the saxophonist Nathaniel Facey and drummer Shaney Forbes. In Spain the new work will be presented in Alahurín de la Torre, Malaga, on July 31.
In a Lusophone musical wagon
In half of the production of his live album, Live at Lagny Jazz Festival, Carmen Souza embarked on a tour with the Mozambican percussionist Elias Kacomanolis, and his inseparable Theo Pascal. Taking the initials of their last names, PSK formed Trio, a project that travels through the roots of the Lusophone music.
"PSK Trio shows all the musical exchange that moves between Angola, Brazil, Mozambique, Portugal and Cape Verde. We wanted to call these energies, "says Carmen who has learned a lot over the project passed by the Center for Peace and Reconciliation St. Ethelburga in London in late March. Which was one of the oldest medieval churches in the British capital, and now hides under the watchful eye of the skyscrapers of the City, was the scene for this "African Railway Project" in addition to hosting sounds Lusophone leave room for other influences musical.
This makes for the repertoire meet own compositions as Afri Ka or Song For My Father and is coupled with the Black Bird of the Beatles, All about Simon Joe Zawinful or fantastic Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba with which he ended the concert and made present could not stand sitting.