Jazz label in full swing in Portugal's fado-land

Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:45pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Elisabete Tavares

LISBON (Reuters Life!) - Portugal's capital is normally associated with the melancholic fado music, but a new Portuguese jazz label is making a name for itself around the world with an adventurous approach to producing modern jazz.

Lisbon's Clean Feed Records has been winning awards and gathering praise from critics in the jazz world for its vibrant exploration of modern jazz.

Founded in 2001, it has released 140 titles from jazz musicians across the planet, one-third of them from the United States, which is also Clean Feed's main sales market.

"We like to record new artists and new sounds. I don't like recording old guys doing the same old thing," said Pedro Costa, founder and the main owner of Clean Feed, who says recording old standards all over again "just doesn't make sense."

Its records have been reviewed by jazz magazines and major newspapers. New York's All About Jazz publication has rated it one of the five best jazz labels in the world for the last two years running.

"Big labels are not recording new artists. So it's up to us to do that task of capturing and documenting an era ... Jazz is all about discovering new sounds and authenticity," Costa said.

Three of Clean Feed's releases - including U.S. jazz pianist/composer Angelica Sanchez's "Life Between" - were named among the albums of the year by All About Jazz.

The label's biggest success so far in terms of sales is Portuguese pianist Bernardo Sasseti whose "Nocturno" album sold 7,000 copies, mainly in Portugal but also in Japan. In 2008, Clean Feed sold a total of 11,500 copies. It also organizes jazz concerts and festivals from Lisbon to New York.   Continued...