||A Jazzar no Zeca – A Música de José Afonso|
Zé Eduardo Unit
The project “A Jazzar”, by the Zé Eduardo Unit, was born from a comission by Cineclube de Faro, through its president Anabela Moutinho, after two shows held respectively in 1999 and 2001. The first one celebrated the 25th anniversary of the April revolution, and the trio was playing known tunes associated with that historical occasion. The second was an hommage to the history of Portuguese Cinema.
“A Jazzar no Cinema Portuguęs” was the first recording by the project and was heralded jazz record of the year by almost every jazz critic and publication. Also, the record was a comercial success with sales rising much beyond expectations.
From the musical and human background of Zé Eduardo, and following the famous 1999 concert, came up the idea of doing a tribute to one of the most important portuguese authors of all times – José Afonso – who was simultaneously one of the most important figures of the April revolution.
Songs like “Cantar Alentejano”, “Coro da Primavera”, “Traz outro amigo também”, “Grândola” and “O que faz falta é avisar a malta”, are included in “A Jazzar no Zeca” and are shown in a new form with original arrangements full of humor and magic.
Curiously, Zé Eduardo chose these themes based on the lyrics and not on the music, basically because of what they represent and because of the strength of the words, a field in what José Afonso was a master. Of course his music makes also sense without the poetry, but it was thanks to its union with the words that the whole became definitive in this historical crucial moment.
Zé Eduardo studied architecture until 1974 and lived the student anti-regime movement, being a self-confessed activist. He became a session musician in 1975 and, until 1982 he had the occasion of playing and recording with some of the greatest names of portuguese music, among them Sérgio Godinho, Fausto, Júlio Pereira, Adriano Correia de Oliveira, Pedro Barroso, Paulo de Carvalho, Fernando Tordo, Carlos Mendes, Carlos do Carmo, Luís Cília, and José Afonso himself.
He was founder and director of the Hot Clube Jazz School and Jazz Orchestra, before moving to Barcelona, where he lived between 1982 and 1995. There he developed an intense activity as a director of the known Taller de Músics de Barcelona where his programs launched to professional life a series of well known spanish musicians. Also, as a sidemen he worked with names like Art Farmer, Harold Land, Tete Montoliu, Steve Lacy and Kenny Wheeler. With his Unit he recorded two records in Spain, in 1989 and 1990, and played in numerous Festivals throughout Europe.
Back in Portugal, he established an activity essencially as a teacher. But 2002 brings to the front his “performer” side, with his trio playing inumerous concerts throughout the country.