Carlos Bica: bass
Frank Möbus: guitar
Jim Black: drums, percussion
18.45 h: Meet the Artists: Ute Pinter im Gespräch mit den Künstlern
Double bass player and composer, Carlos Bica, is one of the most prolific and innovative sound artists of Portugal. Known for his lyrical tone on the double bass, Bica has the rare ability to write melodies that essentially are songs without words, haunting and unforgettable.
"Both a remarkable composer and musician who knows how to mix his folkloric, lyrical roots with any modern style he encounters" (Double Bassist).
Among the several musical projects he leads along with various theatre, film and dance projects, his trio AZUL with Frank Möbus and Jim Black has become his showcase as a bass player and composer.
His debut album, "Azul", recorded for Polygram/ Emarcy, features guitar player Frank Möbus and drummer Jim Black, and special guests, singer, Maria João and, trombone player, Ray Anderson. It was voted "Best jazz record of the year" in Portugal in 1996 and it's widely accepted as the best portuguese jazz album ever done.
Azul's next albums, "Twist" (1999) and "Look What They've Done To My Song" (2003), released by Enja Records, have received international critical acclaim.
"Believer" (2006) is Azul's fourth album celebrating this Portuguese-German-American band's 10th anniversary. As visionary as its predecessors, the new album features the turntables of DJ Illvibe (aka Vincent von Schlippenbach). Pushed by DJ Illvibe's scratch sounds Azul's multi-urban grooves open a bright window into the future. "The magic of shaping" (Fono Forum)
“Things About” (2011) is Azul's fifth album celebrating this Portuguese-German-American band's 15th anniversary. “It is an achievement in itself that Carlos Bica and his trio Azul — with Frank Möbus and Jim Black — have never produced a less than extraordinary recording... In each edition the band seems to reborn, and after “Believer”, here are Bica, Möbus and Black again, with fresh ideas, a renovated drive and a deeper poetic feeling... "Things About" is the most recent and probably the most perfect of Carlos Bica album's with his trio Azul.” (O Expresso)
In October 2005 Bor Land Records released "Single", Carlos Bica's first bass solo CD. This album was recorded at the Radio Berlin-Brandenburg Studios and was nominated by the music magazine "Blitz" as one of the best albums of the year in Portugal.
Started by a commission from the Expo 1998 in Lisbon, Bica embarked upon his project "DIZ" (meaning "Speak to me") together with the extraordinary singer and actress Ana Brandão. His fruits were recorded and released in April 2001 for Enja Records. The album "DIZ" represents a new development in his music. Together with João Paulo (piano), Katharina Gramss (violin), Mike Rutledge (viola), "DIZ" leaps across the stylistics borders of chamber music, Portuguese folk, theatre, jazz and the art of song, with the entertaining ease and serious intensity of musical virtuosity.
Jazz Podium termed it "Grandiose music"; Tip-Berlin "An elegy of beauty".
Carlos Bica has also composed for several theatre as well as dance and film productions.
He worked for many years with renowned vocalist Maria João – a cooperating that established him on the international scene.
He has played at the most important festivals in Europe and Asia and has worked with Ray Anderson, Kenny Wheeler, Aki Takase, Lee Konitz, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Albert Mangelsdorf, Joey Baron, Matthias Schubert, John Ruoco, John Zorn, Paolo Fresu, Markus Stockhausen among others.
In the traditional music of his native Portugal – o fado – he performed with singer Carlos do Carmo, the best known musician of this popular genre, and recorded several albums with him. Among further important and inspiring authorities of the Portuguese musical tradition with whom Carlos Bica has performed and recorded rank such names as – José Mário Branco, Camané, Pedro Caldeira Cabral and Janita Salomé.