Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

André Carvalho: The Garden of Earthly Delights (Outside In)

A review of the bassist and composer's third album as a leader

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.
André Carvalho, The Garden of Earthly Delights
The cover of The Garden of Earthly Delights by André Carvalho

André Carvalho named The Garden of Earthly Delights after the Hieronymus Bosch painting of the same title, and the homage doesn’t end there. The intense detail of that medieval triptych inspired the bassist to create a suite that also covers a wide range of moods, from gentle to sinister, alternately flowing without tempo and rocking hard. If the concept sounds heavy-handed or susceptible to pretension, have no fear; Carvalho’s execution avoids those pitfalls.

Part of the allure comes from his orchestration. The frontline consists of trumpeter Oskar Stenmark and tenor saxophonists/flutists Eitan Gofman and Jeremy Powell, who double on bass clarinet and soprano saxophone respectively. Carvalho exploits the horns in unique sonic blends, as on the opening “Prelude” (which is actually a full piece), where they enter in layers. The rhythm section is completed by guitarist André Matos and drummer Rodrigo Recabarren, who frequently lock into edgy vamps that the horns tend to ignore until the writing brings everyone together, often in a new time signature. Matos approximates vicious progressive rock in “The Forlorn Mill.” Carvalho typically works as an anchor, staying in the background. When the bassist takes a solo in the languid “Dracaena Draco,” he plays in an unrushed manner, with a narrative quality similar to Charlie Haden. 

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.

Mike Shanley

Mike Shanley has been a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh and gladly welcomes any visitors to the city, most likely with a cup of coffee in one hand. Over the years, he has written for several alternative weekly papers and played bass guitar in several indie rock bands. He currently writes for the bi-weekly paper Pittsburgh Current and maintains a blog at