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Like the country itself, the jazz scene in Portugal is small, but its exquisite aesthetics are quickly revealed to those with only the willingness to explore. Your faithful musical travel guide points you in the direction of bassist Nelson Cascais and this exquisite slice of elegantly arranged small-group jazz modernity, one devoid of any obvious Latin influence.

The revelation here is that all the flavors that make this cozido special do not emanate from Portugalia. The sublimely soulful and delectably discerning American organist and pianist Jesse Chandler is on hand to incite the proceedings into the not-to-be-missed category. For the unfamiliar, Chandler was responsible for the most refreshing jazz organ recording of the new millennium, 2004's Somewhere Between, employing a deftly imaginative sound palette and prioritizing modern rock's emphasis on melody. Rather than tour behind this impressive effort, Chandler absconded to Portugal, where, it seems, he quickly fell in with the cream-of-the-crop of Lisbon's jazzers.

The 32-year-old leader Cascais reveals himself as a composer to be reckoned with here, penning all of the session's originals. The hypnotic "De Manhã Começa o Dia breathes as it seemingly slows and speeds, encompassing the listener in a swirling, yet... more
credits
released January 1, 2005

All music by Nelson Cascais, except Knives Out by Radiohead, Along Came Betty by Benny Golson and Waltz #1 by Elliott Smith

Pedro Moreira - tenor sax
André Fernandes - guitar
Jesse Chandler - organ / f rhodes / piano
Nelson Cascais - bass
Bruno Pedroso - drums