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ON "DOUBLE DOSE" 2010

"While the playing is first-rate, such elements as pacing, mood and the artists’ rhythmic sensibilities all contribute...the duo plays straightforward renditions of the famous covers, including an equally uptempo (and outof-character) take on “You Don’t Know What Love Is.” The similar rhythmic approaches that drive most of the program also feed the incessant busyness, with little or no room for breathing. That’s why Alves’ “Orsara” is so refreshing. Each player’s obvious virtuosity is turned on its head as tempo disappears and lyrical form seems to be reinvented right before your ears; the alternately rapid-fire but unexpected nature of the playing allows both musicians to solo simultaneously." John Ehpland, Down Beat, 2010 oct.

A record one hears very well
The album Double Dose is defined by a sound sobriety yet being a strong well defined jazz where the great complicity between the two musicians clearly stands. The album features 3 originals from each musician plus 2 reinterpretations of the popular themes by George Gershwin, Summertime and by Gene DePaul, Do You Know What Love Is. Summertime, with approximately six minutes, is an interesting recreation, while the De Paul theme appears flowing for seven minutes. Two standards not easily mimicked and whose reinterpretation reveals great creativity and brilliance. Particularly interesting is the composition Orsara Variations First Movement construction, written by Hugo Alves, and closing the album. Added to the imaginative composition is an intuitive and accurate interpretation. Another of Alves composition’s New Doors shows both musicians experimentalist spirit who weren’t merely content with a safe and well combined interpretation. A clearly melodic record marked by good rhythmic skills. An album filled with qualities made by none other than the one of the best Portuguese jazz trumpeters. Burk, on the other hand studied, in Boston and lived for more than a decade in Rome hence becoming a benchmark for the transalpine jazz scene. The album was recorded with funding from the Algarve’s Regional Board of Culture and the 2009 tour passed through Lisbon (Belém Cultural Centre), S. Brás de Alportel and Tavira (Portugal)."
António Coelho, Hardmusica.pt

Hugo Alves - Greg Burk "Double Dose" (CD 2010) Double Dose Classif. ****
Hugo Alves is my favourite Portuguese trumpeter, perhaps due to its closeness with that great Jazz traditional instrument, full of sound, simple harmonics and melodic sense.  It was with great expectations that I received this record with a very complete pianist, Greg Burk; an instrumentalist that doesn’t follow the meditative Jarrett-Mehldau fashion dominance. Having done his academic work in Boston, Burk who lived for more than ten years in Rome was an active player in the Italian Jazz scene. Burk’s piano concept is advanced, but the strength of his left hand game does not break away from classics like Peterson or Flanagan. As a result, in this album, we discover the affinities between two musicians who know how to perform a trumpet-piano duet; a difficult art which Oscar Peterson tried to master with Gillespie and others. In this century, the most significant example of that was, perhaps, the singular work collaboration between Bill Chartap and Warren Vache. The Double Dose duettists have the qualities to render a good job: a clear line tendency, the pursuit for a good rhythmic ability and expansive connection. Nevertheless, they don't hide themselves in a comfort zone, on the contrary, and as shown in the first two themes, especially in Hugo Alves composition New Doors, they take risks and exploit whenever necessary. Fancy Pants (more bopper), La Lucha and Look to the Lion, mirror humour, swing and extreme musicality. It becomes afterward easier to hear the work done on the two standards, Summertime and You Don't Know What Love Is, where the brilliance of invention never allows the improvisation to fall into conformists schemes, or better, of imitation. Hugo Alves has technique and security but knows, as few in Portugal, to maintain his music simple and perceivable."
Raúl Vaz Bernardo, in Expresso 15.Jan.2011




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ON "GIVEN SOUL" 2007

"... As in the case of trumpeter Hugo Alves, whose album Given Soul is an authentic breath of fresh air in the new Portuguese jazz. Not because he’s choosing new grounds as others, or representing a new facet of a certain Portuguese jazz. For years now Hugo Alves follows his own path as a soloist, an orchestra musician as an educator. What he humbly presents is a well engraved jazz music, securely expressed, with melodic innovation, vivacity and an absolute jazz sense. Accompanied by a pleasurable trio that has its concepts, especially the drummer Michael Lauren, once again Hugo Alves reasserts himself as an international trumpeter." (Classified with ****) Raul Vaz Bernardo, Expresso - Revista Actual, 09.Feb.2008

"Hugo Alves is a kind of a lone wolf in the national Jazz panorama. Born and raised in the Algarve, he was part of Zé Eduardo’s Unit; being the Lagos Jazz Orchestra director and Taksi Trio mentor. Hugo Alves is a bopper, with all things that can be said of boppers, both good and bad: the boppers were the best musicians in the world and their technique, in many cases, continues to be unsurpassable.
Aesthetically he can also be classified as unsurpassable. All it takes is attend one of hi’s concert’s to understand that his music seems to have always existed and must never cease to exist.  Hugo Alves is a jazz musician that likes his Jazz pure and hard; his last album, performed without harmonic instrument, was truly "raw" (I believe it’s easier to listen to it in a live concert) while on Given Soul Pablo Romero's electric piano seems to have polished the edges and helped it to become more balanced. An album to be heard with pleasure". 
Leonel Santos, www.jazzlogical.net , "30 CDs for Christmas", Dec.2007

“Alves has once again shown his credentials not only as an inspired instrumentalist but also as a gifted composer. With his clear and structured sound he has put together an album filled with a sunny, warm and laidback atmosphere that includes an elegant swing... Given Soul is a sober and honest album by a musician that cannot seem to stop surprising us and still seems to have a lot to contribute to that national jazz scene. This is just the beginning..." António Branco, Blog Improvisos Ao Sul, 22.Jun.2007

 “Hugo Alves, a key name in the national jazz scene, confirms his natural talent on trumpet. The leap leading to this album is probably the most important of his career. His crystal clear sound and note fluidity that come out of his trumpet can only be produced by a mature musician He’s completely aware and in control of the instrument’s hidden secrets being, therefore, able to produce all the melody and harmony needed shown here in such an exemplary style. It’s a milestone."  António Rubio in Correio da Manhã (national newspaper), Êxito / CDs of the week, on 09.Jun.2007 Class. **** (out of *****)

 “Hugo Alves asserts himself as one of the consecrated names in the national jazz panorama. We particularly appreciate the sincere approach displayed while presenting his originals... with an extreme sobriety capable of meeting the emotional response that has very little if anything to do with jazz. The freshness of his music, always a bit mainstream, allowed him to conquer a space that has been undoubtedly waiting for him: the jazz aesthetic is painted using a pallet with many colors and it becomes necessary that the color spectrum uses as many different shades as possible... Hugo Alves' world of sound grabs us at the first chord ." Rui Branco in Jornal de Notícias (national newspaper), Culture / CD, on 02.Jun.2007 Class. 7/10




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ON "TAKSI TRIO" 2005

(…on the theme Só Para Ti)  ”…a beautiful theme... supported by a bursting sound on which the trumpet’s interesting improvisation evolves, demonstrating a perfect instrumental domain and a controlled and beautiful tone".
(…on the theme Moínhos de Arroz) “... It represents a remarkable aesthetic leap regarding the improvisational evolution and its relation with the previously defined structure."
Manuel Jorge Veloso in a National Portuguese Radio Show “UM TOQUE DE JAZZ”, RDP Antena 2, 12/05/2005

“The expectations were high, but Hugo Alves once again proved the excellence of its compositions and sound. This record showcases a jazz freed from sterile labels or categories. A breath of fresh air. Don’t lose him out of your sight." Blogspot Improvisos ao Sul – www.improvisosaosul.weblog.com.pt

“The second original’s album... that confirms his predecessor has brought us: a confident musician of exquisite taste... The trio works as a small machine with perfect empathy. Naturally the spotlight goes to Hugo Alves’ improvisations, whether on trumpet or on flugelhorn he finds surprising solutions..." Rui Branco in Jornal de Notícias, “Pré-Escuta”, 12.Mar.2005



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ON "ESTRANHA NATUREZA" 2003

“... style mainstream 70, with some contemporary phrasing . It is a conscientious choice, and there is no reason to believe that portuguese jazz is drifting. Hugo teaches and shows that, without going looking for notes to the four winds, he dominates his his instruments from where he extracts sounds of some naturality which we are no longer accustomed in jazz… one should not exclude that Hugo Alves will impose himself shortly in the jazz world.” PATRICK DALMACE in JAZZ HOT Nº 612 July/August 2004 – France

 “... a complete musician dedicated to contemporary jazz... he plays in a relaxed and well elaborated manner, almost unconcerned, but with all of jazz’s elements. His way of playing is smoothly fluent, almost seductive, as dynamic and vigorous. A very good record...” in JAZZ DIMENSIONS, 18.Feb.2004 – Germany

“..., a record that awakes us to the surprising sound maturity of a trumpet player in constant evolution,… Risking, with courage and technique, a series of neo-mainstream type originals, Hugo Alves reveals articulated and aggressive enough on the trumpet – knowing where and why to “double” tempo, for example in Um Outro Céu de Prata – but also controlling to a round sound on flugelhorn on Dois Velhos or specially in No Castelo da Catarina, pece  where looks me to reside his best side as a composer” Manuel Jorge Veloso in Diário de Notícias “A várias vozes” - suplement DN Mais, 30/01/2004




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Introducing HUGO ALVES, in "All About Jazz" Dec.2008, three CD's in review by Mark Corroto
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=31372

What joy to discover a new jazz musician with talent, one "on loan from God," as they say. Hugo Alves, a Portuguese trumpet/flugelhorn player, might have escaped your attention, but be forewarned, he will be a name you hear for many years to come. Like American brass players Ron Miles, Ralph Alessi and Ron Horton, not commonly discussed in the Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Roy Hargrove dialogue, Alves is creating a scene around his horn and playing. And like the above mentioned players, he has a knack for incorporating tradition into a music which is thoroughly modern.
Born in 1973, Alves began playing music at age seven and was later mentored by the legendary bassist Ze Eduardo. Three of his discs are reviewed below and he has also begun an 18-musician ensemble, the Lagos Jazz Orchestra, in his home town.

Hugo Alves, Estranha Natureza, Actus 2003.
The first song on his first record writes Alves' statement of worthiness. He begins Estranha Natureza or "Strange Nature" with a trumpet and drum duet! Yes, gutsy (and non mainstream) as it may seem, Alves meets Jorge Moniz on the trapeze, knocking out the high wire act of playing toe-to-toe with a drummer. The players alternate between the obvious military promenade and tender chamber jazz possibilities. Alves also has your attention as his vision is revealed on the remaining tracks. The quartet lays down some classic bebop on "La P'ra Cima!" and "Castanhitos," played with an urgency and a breakneck technical facility by Alves that suggests a master's command (even perhaps Clifford Brown-like) over his instrument. His writing here and elsewhere on this debut evidences his ability to digest a style and write something interesting from the culture of jazz. When they take on ballad, as with "Dois Velhos" or "Longo Por Do Sol," the band patiently allows the composition to unfold. Alves deftly swaps his trumpet for flugelhorn on the first ballad for added feeling.


Hugo Alves Trio, Taksi Trio, Actus 2005.
Two years later, Alves released a trio record with his old friend Ze Eduardo on bass and the adroit drummer Jorge Moniz. This record, made without a pianist or guitar, is a bit more free, but also more playful. Alves opens the music up beyond bebop and ballads to the world of jazz that trades the limiting term "jazz" for "music." They execute the precise circus-like track "Apanho Taksi" or "grab the taxi," a slapstick theatre piece with perfect timing for the pratfalls to work. Alves slurs and burps notes, not unlike Dave Douglas. And like Douglas he never blows an off-key note, always talking with perfect grammar.
Alves reprises "Drumpet II" as a drum duet. Certainly, this must be a favorite in concert, but the rawness of a back-and-forth between these two strong voices is a pleasure. Alves can spit out notes as fast as any player working today—or swing, as he does on "Norte Perto" against the timekeeping of Eduardo, not unlike Lee Morgan. He works a ballad like "Tema So Para Ti" with such gentleness you hardly believe this is the same player. But indeed it is, and his clarity of notes shines throughout.

Hugo Alves Quartet, Given Soul, Actus 2007.
The 2007 formation for Hugo Alves was a quartet with the inclusion of Pablo Romero on electric piano. As US listeners have accepted the return of this instrument, thanks in part to Dave Douglas' bands, its befitting Alves' jazz conception. He writes music here that is both looking backward to the hip swinging music of the 1970s, and also that is looking squarely into the future of small jazz ensembles.
The track "66 Exchange" sounds like a soundtrack to a television show made during the heyday of studios employing real jazz artists as composers. Its infectious melody reminds you to tune in each week. The title track, with Alves on fluglehorn recalls the Children Of Sanchez (IMS, 1978) record Chuck Mangione made in the late-1970s, with its delicious, innocent sound. Alves maintains that pure tone throughout. Whether he's playing a ballad or working a bit more free, he hits all the right notes. This new voice continues to develop into quite an impressive discography of composing and playing.





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ON HUGO ALVES AS SIDEMAN

Jorge Moniz "Deambulações" (Album 2009), Hugo Alves as sideman.
 "It starts with an Alentejo’s sheppard calling but afterwards we hear a drum 'n' bass rhythm and a well pulled post-bop trumpet sound. Contemporary, well executed and intriguing is to be said about the album "Deambulações", by Jorge Moniz..." jan.2010 www.jacc.pt in news

Bodyspace
"Hugo Alves also shines brightly, whether on the second tune (beautiful trumpet on "Arábico") whether on the last track, this time using the flugelhorn, with its shinning and round full sound and making a theme like “Alburrica” sound good.” 14.jan.2010 Nuno Catarino in Bodyspace.net



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ON ORQUESTRA DE JAZZ DO ALGARVE


On the album "OJA Invites" (2012)
"Born in Lagos he crossed the Algarve taking the Jazz Big Band everywhere.
The Algarve Jazz Orchestra has evolved, always under Hugo Alves’ conduction, and that we had the pleasure of listening and presenting in its first concert, in Lagos, of course!” 
António Rubio on the album OJA Invites, in Liner Notes 2012

"Under Hugo Alves’ rigorous conduction and after several years of hard devoted work – that I closely followed – finally here is the Algarve Jazz Orchestra debut album that reveals a significant musical maturity level.”  António Branco on the album OJA Invites, in Liner Notes 2012


On Concerts:
“... with a special appearance of Bobby medina... the Algarve Jazz Orchestra, is responsible for this revolution and invasion (of audience) that was marvelled by the quality of the music they heard,” In Canallagos, www.canallagos.com 08.Mar.2005

 “The conductor’s performance and the musician’s total surrender provided an unexpected artistic dimension… Whether on solos, whether on the orchestra’s overall sound their willingness and ability to do well as clearly expressed… Themes from Duke Ellington, Billy Martin, Sonny Rollins among others got the room into ecstasy. Excellent solos... a memorable night...” António Rubio in Correio da Manhã - Uma Agradável Certeza”, 29.Jan.2005