Mar 29 2010

À Deriva: Suíte do Náufrago

The Adventures of a Castaway


Suíte do NáufragoSuíte do Náufrago is the third album from the jazz influenced band À Deriva. The quartet surprised earlier with two impressive albums, simply titled À Deriva and À Deriva II. On their second release À Deriva took the freedom of musical expression for the four instrumentalists a bit further than on À Deriva. On the third CD the group continues to move on in their development. The improvisation level is one step up again. To reach a maximum spontaneity, the band decided to record the album live in the studio. They chose for the convenience of the Comunicação Musical Editora Paulinas, or in short COMEP in São Paulo. With its large room and high ceiling this studio provided the band with the perfect challenge to tape the music in just one take. The directions were given with a few notations by saxophonist Beto Sporleder; the clues for his fellow musicians to improvise on.

The line up of the quartet is the same since 2004, with, besides Beto Sporleder, Daniel Muller on piano, Rui Barossi on bass and Guilherme Marques on drums. It’s interesting to hear how the band keeps on evolving. The musicians feel comfortable with each other and know very well what the other has to say, musically. The accompanying musicians seem to fuel the at that moment soling band member. That’s a wonderful quality, especially when a band is in a complete free improvisation mode. The interaction between the musicians has always been a strong factor in À Deriva and it keeps on growing.

The album is built up as a completely improvised suite in seven movements, The Suite of the Castaway. The journey begins in all loneliness with a haunting bass solo on which Rui Barossi uses the bow and switches to a hammering technique. Piano, drums and tenor sax join in during “the embarking” in the second movement. À DerivaA raw tenor sax solo accompanies the journey until an impressive drum solo announces the storm. It’s a beautiful solo in which Guilherme Marques shows his outstanding control of rhythm and instrument that as a bonus has a wonderful sound as well. The solo seems to continue in the next movement and is brought to calm by a repetitive piano figure and the bowed bass lines that refer to the opening part of the suite. It flows over in a movement that’s dominated by the melodica (escaleta). The somewhat nostalgic sound of the instrument slowly finds its superior in the stormy introduction of part 6. “Tempestade II” unlocks its structure and kindles into an almost straight ahead piece of jazz with an inspired tenor sax solo. The final encounter is lyrical. For some nine minutes the band finds the conclusion of the journey of improvisation it went through. Throughout the CD Daniel Muller proves to be a wonderful pianist; this ending movement confirms it even extra. It’s a satisfactory and romantic end of the story.

The music is open for personal interpretation, although the desolate cover clearly sets a tone. The suite invites to sit down and close the eyes, allowing imaginary pictures to enter your mind, fed by the evoked sentiments. À Deriva guides us through the journey with masterful music. They’re there and they’re good!

You can visit the band at À Deriva.



À Deriva
Suíte do Náufrago
À Deriva Discos ADVA0006 (2010)
Time: 38’17”


Improvised with musical direction by Beto Sporleder.

  1. Suíte do Náufrago – Solidão I
  2. Suíte do Náufrago – Embarque
  3. Suíte do Náufrago – Jornada / Tempestade I
  4. Suíte do Náufrago – Solidão II / Deriva
  5. Suíte do Náufrago – Calmaria
  6. Suíte do Náufrago – Tempestade II
  7. Suíte do Náufrago – Encontro