Francisco Pais Quintet
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Francisco Pais Quintet


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"Not Afraid Of Color-Pittsburgh"

Francisco Pais shows throughout "Not Afraid of Color" he is a talented guitarist and band leader, but a great part of the success of the album goes to saxophonist Chris Cheek. That dual victory shows itself early. On the opening track, "Water from the Moon," the guitarist offers a fine bit of work in a trade-off section with the equally skilled Cheek. The two dominate the overall sound, whether it is in the moody "Tides" or the cruising "Charmed."
Keyboardist Leo Genovese offers good work, too, on piano and Fender Rhodes, often switching between the two amid song. One disappointment may be that the tempo and mood of the pieces seldom change, hardly ever moving from a pensive middle ground. But in a way, that makes the album a steady spot of refuge after a tough day.
-- Bob Karlovits
- Pittsburgh Tribune-review Bob Karlovits

"Not Afraid Of Color-Italy"

Illude il primo brano di Not Afraid of Color. Un inizio lento, ricco di atmosfera, la cadenza di un blues che monta piano piano, un frullio sui metalli della batteria a creare una sorta di vuoto pneumatico, poi il ritmo deflagra, il Fender Rhodes ci riporta agli Anni Settanta, il sax tenore lancia lingue di fuoco e il cerchio si chiude.

Un inizio con i fiocchi, la memoria storica della musica afroamericana rinfrescata con giovanile entusiasmo, ma... Not Afraid of Color è tutto qui o poco più, un po’ di bop in “Gratitude“, il tempo medio lento di “Tides“ con il soprano di Cheek in evidenza, le linee essenziali, pulite di “Melody for Damien“, la melodia accattivante della conclusiva “Charmed“. Poi la sensazione è di deja vu, di sentito e risentito con la varietà di colori auspicata dal titolo che si riduce ad un palpabile monocromatismo.

Il gruppo del giovane chitarrista di Lisbona ha una storia ormai lunga cinque anni anche se Not Afraid of Color è l’album del debutto e si sente, perché più che l’affiatamento tra i musicisti, quasi inevitabile, emergono incertezze ed ingenuità. E anche lo stile chitarristico di Pais, tecnicamente ineccepibile grazie al marchio Berklee School of Music, rimane in bilico tra passato e presente, radici chiaramente affondate nel solco tracciato dai padri del chitarrismo moderno ma sensibile alle lusinghe di Pat Metheney o alle derive acide e sporche di Kurt Rosenwinkel.

Chitarrista interessante e dotato, attendiamo Pais ad una prova più convincente anche dal punto di vista compositivo, con la facilità di scrittura dimostrata in questo debutto più felicemente strutturata e aperta ad una maggiore varietà di colori. - All About Jazz-Vincenzo Roggero

"Not Afraid Of Color"

In this lively session of original compositions, guitarist Francisco Pais leads his quintet through hot impressions that entice and excite. Not afraid of color? They’re not afraid of anything. They love originality and show it with their unbridled enthusiasm. The sound is contemporary, and yet the quintet remains firm in its portrayal of jazz tradition.
Based in New York, just under thirty and a cum laude graduate of Boston's Berklee College of Music, Pais has energy, ambition and desire. It’s paying off on schedule. He proves through his music that the creative spirit can release thousands of impressions at once. His guitar soars in passionate displays that weave strong ties with his bandmates. Their cohesive union makes for a strong foundation, which in turn releases a creative tide.

”Transfiguration” blends the timbres of the Rhodes with guitar and soprano saxophone for a light swirl of activity. Drummer Ferenc Nemeth ensures that the session’s colors never fade, maintaining a consistent scramble alongside. Pais and saxophonist Chris Cheek like to work in unison to begin a piece, and they work in parallel to create virtual firestorms. They return to the unison for a calmer period from time to time, but never stray too far from their exotic mood.

”Desert of Colors” opens with guitar and tenor octaves alongside cooler piano chords. Impressionism takes over as the quintet follows Pais’ lead through a vast ocean of solitude where musical thoughts come unadorned and free of any emotional burden. There’s release upon release. Like rolling sand dunes, the quintet’s format rolls evenly while the music builds and wanes. In the process Pais establishes a magical ballad countenance that enchants.

The recording closes with “Charmed,” a somber piece that features pianist Leo Genovese in a lovely dream sequence, bracketed by a warm tenor/guitar fury on both ends. This fresh look at jazz’s modern mainstream comes highly recommended.

Track listing: Water from the Moon; Gratitude; Tides; Always Dreaming; Melody for Damien; Transfiguration; Lift Your Head From the Sand and Face Reality; Desert of Colors; Charmed.

Personnel: Francisco Pais: guitar; Chris Cheek: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Leo Genovese: piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano; Massimo Biolcati: bass; Ferenc Nemeth: drums. - All About Jazz-Jim Santella

"This is Strong exotic Music.."

“This is strong, exotic and compelling music played by a great band. In Francisco you hear a thoughtful improviser and composer. His music is a provocative blend of traditional and modern jazz, very easy to listen to yet not lacking in depth, excitement or imagination. This CD confirms (to me) that Francisco is well on his way to discover his own musical voice. I applaud his efforts, and the fine results he achieved here.”

By Hal Crook Berklee professor, trombone legend
- Hal Crook-Berklee professor/Trombone legend

"Not Afraid Of Color"

Jazz guitarist Francisco Pais is 'Not Afraid Of Challenge'
Either! Pais & his group, deliver a project that is nothing short of underrated. Francisco exhibits his ability as an excellent accompanist as well as a fluent
soloist. Plus, his player's intonation is both stimulating & unconventional.
As a result, his music is impeccably performed with great emotional
tension. Virtuosity & versatility applies here.

George W. Carroll/The Musicians' Ombudsma
- Ejazz news

"Not Afraid Of Color"

I'm not sure why Francisco Pais feels compelled to hide from his listeners. He's got his back to us in the CD case photo, and a booklet image finds him peeking out from behind his guitar—just a bit of nose and two eyes. Even more significantly in the music on his recent Fresh Sounds/New Talent release, he keeps himself down in the mix. In may be the Francisco Pais Quintet, but musically they all get equal time and attention.
I'm a fan of the ensemble feel this arrangement allows. The opening track, Water From the Moon, shows off the range of exploration this set-up allows a jazz group unhampered by the need to wait while each guy takes a solo. Instead the group can move and develop the work en masse, a striking idea or a well-played riff serving as a spice rather than a stand-alone course. Now Francisco, come out from there, at least to take a bow.
- New Music Box

"Not Afraid Of Color"

“Pais [plays] some very nice lines that tend to shy away from the guitaristic, instead focusing more on the melodic content of the tune as he thoughtfully locates the right notes for what he has to say.
In fact, it is this emphasis on achieving a group sound rather than having the leader showcase his guitar talents that make this project so enjoyable. And although Francisco Pais can really play up a storm, which is evident during the quick shred of sax and guitar at the beginning of “Water From the Moon” or the drums and overdriven guitar section of “Always Dreaming”, he tends to lay back allowing the group dynamic and voices of each player to take over, playing just what is needed without reference to ego or guitaristic alchemy. Definitely the kind of player you want on your team.”

-Lyle Robinson,
- Jazz Guitar Life-Lyle Robinson

"Not Afraid Of Color"

“Pais is a very good musician…an individual with his own ideas. His playing is light, bluesy and intricate on “Gratitude,” allowing the other instruments to take the center until he comes in with a confident and swinging solo.”

By Mark F. Turner
- All About Jazz-Mark Turner

"Francisco Pais Quintet-Not Afraid of Color"

This Review is in French:

ela commence par un titre à l’introduction assez conventionnelle (Water form the Moon), puis au bout de deux minutes, le rythme s’emballe et laisse place à... de la drum ‘n’ bass. Le guitariste Francisco Pais est ainsi : la versatilité semble être une seconde nature chez lui. Les thèmes qui se succèdent ici dévoilent aussi une seconde qualité chez le guitariste : une grande communication avec ses acolytes. Chacun des titres est une plage d’accueil pour les membres de son quintet, avec en particulier un rôle remarquable dévolu à l’excellent Chris Cheek. (Tides). Not Afraid of color est une ode au dialogue, à l’altérité et à la tension de l’émotion. - © Abeille Musique AMCD 2006

"Not Afraid Of Color-Boston"

Francisco Pais Quintet —
Not Afraid Of Color (CD) Portugal’s Francisco Pais delivers a stunning debut album with Not Afraid of Color, supported by his quintet of five years. Pais is yet another artist awarded a scholarship to study jazz performance at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. The result is nine original compositions that range from somber to hard swing and beyond. Immerse yourself in the haunting “Water From the Moon,” the gracious swing of “Gratitude,” the rolling, ebbing “Tides,” plus the fast-paced “Always Dreaming” and hit the midpoint with the intriguing “Melody for Damien.” Rounding out Pais’ quintet are Chris Cheek, Ferenc Nemeth, Leo Genovese and Massimo Biolcati. The
lengthy, “Transfiguration” continues the pace, along with the pretty “Lift Your
Head From the Sand and Face Reality,” the hue of “Desert of Colors,” and the high energy of “Charmed.”
- Boston Post Gazette


Not Afraid of Color- Francisco Pais



Francisco just got signed with Fresh Sound New Talent a label based of Barcelona in Spain. His debut CD “Not Afraid of Color” was released in March 2006. Francisco’s own band, the Francisco Pais Quintet, features some of NY best players and plays primarily original music that blends elements of American jazz with European classical music and Pop. The quintet has been touring in Europe for five years, playing at a number of famous venues and jazz festivals including the Hot Club of Lisbon, the Cultural Center of Belem, the Almodovar Jazz festival, and Tomar Jazz Festival. As the leader of the quintet, Francisco has been fortunate to collaborate with musicians such as Chris Cheek, Massimo Biolcati, Dayna Stephens, Peter Slavov, Albert Sanz, Ferenc Nemeth, Nathan Blehar, Leo Genovese and Demien Cabaud. They have helped to shape the sound of his band and to inspire his compositions.

Born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1976, Francisco started playing music when his father taught him his first chords on the guitar at age 5. During Francisco’s youth, his father introduced him to a range of music, including fado, sixties rock, and traditional Brazilian music. Very early on, he knew that he wanted to be a professional musician.

After an audition in Paris in 1998, Francisco was awarded a scholarship to come to the United States to study jazz performance at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. While at Berklee, he had the opportunity to take lessons and attend master classes by Pat Metheny, Peter Bernstein, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner, Mulgrew Miller, Ralph Peterson, Jeff Tain Watts, Hal Crook, Branford Marsalis and Mick Goodrick. In 2002, Francisco graduated cum laude with a B.A. in music performance.

When he first arrived in Boston, Francisco gained extensive experience in big band music, playing and touring with an orchestra in such venues as Central Park, the Today Show (at NBC Studios), the Boston Sports Awards, the Emerson Majestic Theater and the Wang Center. He later performed with a number of prominent musicians, including Joe Lovano, Dave Santoro, John Benitez, George Garzonne, and Mick Goodrich. Recently he played in Prague and Amsterdam at the Summer Jazz Workshop along side David Doruzka, Petar Dvorski, Josephine Lindstrand, Marteen Van Der Griten and others. In 2002 he was invited to teach and perform at the Litchfield Jazz Festival and its summer program. Then, in 2003, Francisco became head of the jazz department at the Wheeler School in Providence, Rhode Island. Francisco is also the director of the Wheeler jazz camp where during a week in June he hires the best jazz players in the New York scene for a week of workshops, master classes and concerts.