Thoughts Are Things

Thoughts Are Things

NAU Quartet + Pedro Carneiro

" I´m very happy to share with all of you “Thoughts are Things “ the new release by Nau Quartet.
This time we invited master marimba player Pedro Carneiro. I first heard about Pedro maybe some 15 years ago and I kept this name in my mind as someone I admire and would like to work with. A few years later I spent a trimester in Rochester, where I would attend the performances by the Percussive Department at Eastman School of Music. These always blew my mind, much more than the jazz ones I must say! The marimbas, vibes, and other percussive instruments were playing amazing contemporary compsitions like I have never witnessd before.

The title of the album has to do with the manifestation in the direction of materializing our ideals, goals, etc. Edward Walker, the author, defends that we create our own character and personality by the thoughts we originate, or accept from others. We are, each of us, the result of what we have thought in the past; we will be the result of what we are now thinking.
Thoughts are mental Things, and tend to become material Things. The Ideal becomes Real. Our dreams come true.
I sincerely hope you enjoy it!
Last but not least, a huge thanks to Rodrigo, Hernâni, and my brother João, for their beautiful friendship and music."

José Lencastre


Pedro Carneiro (Marimba)
José Lencastre (Tenor and Alto Sax)
Hernâni Faustino (Double Bass)
Rodrigo Pinheiro (Piano)
João Lencastre (Drum)


All music by Nau Quartet + Pedro Carneiro
Recorded by João Sousa at OCP - Orquestra de Câmara Portuguesa, Algés (PT) on March 7th 2021
Mixed and Mastered by Luís Delgado
Cover Illustration by João Lomelino
Artwork by João Lomelino
Band photo by Nuno Martins
Produced by José Lencastre
Executive Production by Phonogram Unit

Release date
July 23, 2021
Phonogram Unit - PU4CD
Disc format


The four extended pieces are credited to the five musicians and highlight the immediate and urgent rapport of Pedro Carneiro and José Lencastre. The music on the opening «One Way to Cultivate Courage» flows naturally, and sketches open, loose textures, but in a passionate and risk-taking interplay that enjoys the past collaboration of Carneiro and Pinheiro. The more structured and slow-cooking «Thought Atmospheres» offers first the introspective, lyrical of this ensemble, led by José Lencastre’s warm, singing voice and the subtle ways that Carneiro and Pinheiro converse before its cathartic coda. «Your Latent Powers» suggests a reserved, chamber atmosphere and an organic playfulness. The last «The Magnet of Thought» deepens further the profound affinity of Carneiro with the Nau Quartet, and the elusive, subtle ways of the open, introspective dynamics of this ensemble. Sometimes, dreams do become true and beautiful.

José has a lighter viola in his hands, and he leads a melodic line, the basis for which is the delicate playing of Pinheiro, coupled with the confident rhythmic basis of João and Hernani. [...] Calming down completely at the end and as if answering questions to themselves, the musicians take a confident step towards continuing cooperation.

The musicians are faithful to minimalism here, they build a story mainly with short phrases. This dramatically organized lazy open jazz definitely looks for silence. The very process of extinguishing the improvisation takes quite a long time, as if emphasizing the artistic unhurriedness of the musicians and their great narrative patience.

On previous Nau Quartet albums, Lencastre played alto sax only, but this time he’s also playing tenor, giving the music even more muscle. On the opening track, “One Way To Cultivate Courage,” his lines are quick like snow flurries whipped by the wind, and the band rattles and surges behind him, his brother tossing out martial snare runs as Pinheiro’s piano clangs and jangles.

The most striking thing about the music in this composition is not that the saxophonist and marimba player feel each other perfectly, but the interaction between the piano and the marimba. Those two instruments together in a jazz quintet could be too much of a good thing, but on this album it is especially the moments when they improvise at the same time that are among the highlights of the record.

And the same can be said for Rodrigo Pinheiro's work, which is also more visceral and less cerebral. The RED Trio pianist is actually an important driver of this record, a provocateur constantly in search of unstable terrain, and it is clear that his work is important to guide Carneiro's marimba, always in search of spaces to express himself, in a landscape acoustics densely populated with ideas, with, as the title indicates, thoughts, expressed here in gestures, in shocks, in suggestions, in complements, in micro explosions that keep us constantly on the edge of the chair.