Augusto Baschera and João Bernardo present ‘Tempos e Lugares’

Guitarist Augusto Baschera and pianist João Bernardo released their second album Tempos e Lugares in the May of 2022. This album results from the recording of a live concert at Teatro Micaelense / São Miguel – Azores. The compositions that make up this recording echo traits explored by the duo on their first album, Grey City, which represent and mark the duo’s characteristic identity, such as the unison melodies that are guided by an inner voice endowed with lyricism. In this new work, the duo combines their essence with a rhythmic vigour that emphasizes the duo’s traditions and influences and at the same time reflects the universality of their music, which draws on both classical and jazz styling.

The two musicians blend well, often in unison, and it is clear from the outset that this is a contemporary jazz/classical music meld. There is use of repeated phrases, variations in tempo and volume within a tune. It is the piano of João Bernardo that carries the jazz element of the music and he plays with precision and flare. All of this can be heard in the opening track, ‘Cidade Nova’, of the album which makes for good introduction to this pairing. ‘Saci’ opens with a prodding motif before the melody is picked up by the piano and this style of playing repeats throughout the track’s length. Augusto Baschera stretches out a bit more on this number and I do like his playing.

‘Canto De Alvorada’ has a nice vibrant feel to it interspersed with quieter, lyrical playing. A great jazz feel to this number with Bernado doing a terrific job in supporting his pianist partner. ‘Suburbio’ is an intriguing piece of writing in that it starts out with a cinematic sensibility before morphing into something a little more experimental but all at a reflective, sometimes subdued level. ‘Pressagio’ begins with a very simple sounding repeated phrase before both players increase the volume as the patterns become a little more complex. Baschera produces some wonderful sounds from his guitar, the tonal colouration is very good as is that of Bernado at the piano.

‘Ato’ brings the album to a close and is much of the same stylistically but with a touch more playfulness and a pinch of wordless vocals. I rather enjoyed this album with its blend of musical styles that, for me, works well. There is nothing showy about the music on Tempos e Lugares, it is simply well structured, thoughtful, balanced and, most importantly, very well performed by two musicians whose playing complements the other with a harmonic rapport that connects with the listening audience.

Musicians: Augusto Baschera – guitar; João Bernardo – piano.

Tracklist: 1. Cidade Nova. 2. Saci. 3. Canto De Alvorada. 4. Subúrbio. 5. Presságio. 6. Ato.

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