Lotte Anker + Rodrigo Pinheiro + Hernâni Faustino

Improvised music is one of the few fields where something like this can happen: having a new band with people we never imagined together, and better still considering that the attempted combination results in something as astonishing as this studio recording. While listening to “Birthmark”, the first, immediate, impression we have is that the association of Lotte Anker with pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro and double bassist Hernâni Faustino makes all the sense. More: that it was written in the sky. If there was a common characteristic inviting to turn a reality this reunion of the Danish superb saxophonist with the two Portuguese members of the much acclaimed RED Trio, it gets brilliantly evident in the music played here. Let’s call it “intensity”.

All the three of them are intense musicians. And take notice: intensity, here, doesn’t mean they function as an elephant in a porcelain store. Sometimes it seems so, indeed, but there’s also intensity when they restrain themselves, choosing to be subtle and meticulous in their static and very spatial group improvisations. There’s intensity even when Anker, Pinheiro and Faustino lower the amount of notes produced and are more concerned with the maintenance of fluid atmospheres. Only density gives nuance to the shared power of the trio, going from the most transparent textures to the opaque mixing of several layers of sound, with all the dynamics in between.

If you liked Anker’s flights with Craig Taborn and Gerald Cleaver, you’re certainly going to discover in this CD other good motives to keep her as a favorite horn player, and if the poetic abstractions of RED Trio with John Butcher and Nate Wooley made you happy, here is more material coming from the same mindset and the same sensibility to the here-and-now. Enjoy.


Lotte Anker (soprano and tenor saxophones)
Rodrigo Pinheiro (piano)
Hernâni Faustino (doublebass)


Design and artwork by Travassos
Executive-Producer,  Trem Azul
Liner notes by Stef Gijssels
Mastered by Rodrigo Pinheiro
Mixed by Hernani Faustino, Rodrigo Pinheiro
Produced  by Hernani Faustino, Lotte Anker and Rodrigo Pinheiro
Recorded by Joaquim Monte

Release date
Jan. 1, 2013
Clean Feed Records - CF267
Disc format


The piece advances, gaining energy very much like a classic Evan Parker/Barry Guy/Paul Lytton improvisation, capturing momentum and intensity. This trio succeeds on multiple levels.

Ongoing surprise, unpredictability, deep experience. Don’t think while listening. Go with the sounds. Let go. Let yourself be surprised. You will be taken to strange places … intense and rich and authentic places

Surprisingly, "Birthmark" features her other trio. This time she plays with two relatively unknown Portuguese musicians, bassist Hernâni Faustino and pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro, instead of Taborn/Cleaver and it works! Hernâni Faustino and Rodrigo Pinheiro are both the bigger half of the young, but quite successful Portuguese Red Trio (their two albums got a lot of positive press around Europe). It's interesting that in the new trio, Lotte herself is the NY loft sound generator, perfectly balanced with the European free traditions represented by the bassist and pianist.