Hugo Carvalhais “Ascetica”

Fábio Almeida – alt saxophone, flute
Liudas Mockunas – tenor saxophone, clarinet
Fernando Rodrigues – keyboards
Gabriel Pinto – piano, organ, synthesizer 
Hugo Carvalhais – double bass, electronics  
Mário Costa – drums

Double bassist and composer Hugo Carvalhais was born in Oporto (Portugal) and graduated in Fine Arts. As a double bass player, he is basically self-taught. Still, he has participated in numerous seminars under the leadership of double bass greats, including Ron Carter, Eddie Gomez, Hein Van de Geyn, Mario Pavone, Carlos Bica and Miroslav Vitous. Among the artists he has collaborated with are Julian Arguelles, Tim Berne, Dominique Pifarély, Emile Parisien, Liudas Mockunas, Sheila Jordan, Jeffery Davis and Art Themen.  

Carvalhais has recorded four albums as a leader in his solo career so far, all for the leading Portuguese production Clean Feed. World critics praised all his records, being among the best albums of the year's production in various polls worldwide. In a story on the current album Ascetica (2022), jazz critic Gonçalo Falcão compared them to Luke Howard's classification of clouds in On the Modification of Clouds (1802), predicting another album as the fifth cloud type and rounding off this cycle. On the other hand, the debut album Nebulosa (2010) was inspired by the infinitely large, the follow-up Particula (2012) by the infinitely small, while Grand Valis (2015) explored the nature of the world we perceive and move in.

The current album plunges into our inner self, into the depth of consciousness, where we face enigmas, magic, beauty, wonder, light and darkness. The sound of the Carvalhais sextet remarkably proves that the jazz of the 21st century can accommodate the acoustic mainstream and fusion and breakbeat, communicating both with the new generation and those who grew up on Shorter and Zawinul.

Support: Embassy of Portugal in Serbia and Instituto Camões.