The band is new, but the relationships
have a history. And that history makes a recording like
Verde (Product of Imagination, 2016) by Francisco Pais
The musicians are Pais, voice and guitar;
Myron Walden, tenor sax; Godwin Louis, alto sax; Julian
Shore, piano; Connor Schultze, bass; and Fereno Nemeth,
drums. Guest vocalists Genetta Kha and Jacklyn Chan appear
on “Million Galaxies.” They have performed together in one
configuration or another for about 10 years.
Painter” is an upbeat, gear-shifting song. Guitar and sax
are in unison for the main theme. The tempo is constant, but
the leads adjust their rate of notes per beat as the song
progresses. Shore, Shultze and Nemeth stay quite busy behind
the leads, especially Nemeth. Louis and Walden carry the
middle passage in turns, each making his instrument sing,
grind and wail for emphasis.
“Devotion” begins as a
placid, solo guitar effort. Pais is one with his instrument,
playing a descending series of phrases. When he reaches
bottom, he climbs again and stays on the same level for a
moment, a signal for the others to join in. >From there, it
plays like an ambient jazz piece. The overall track has a
Pais also sings lead on three
Pais counts among his guitar heroes several
blues and rock artists: Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Robert
Johnson, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. The
title, Verde is the Portuguese word for green. “I
come from a small village in Portugal called Sintra, and
there are thousands of shades of green over there,” he says.
“It’s a magical stretch of mountains with castles and
palaces that overlook the Atlantic Ocean.”
audition in Paris in 1998, Pais was awarded a scholarship to
study jazz performance at the Berklee College of Music. He
graduated cum laude in 2002 with a bachelor of arts degree
in Music Performance.
Pais composed all 14 tracks.