Francisco Pais, born in Portugal and a graduate of the Berklee School of Music, has a highly individual sound on his guitar and an airy approach to his compositions. Not Afraid of Color is his recording debut as a leader, featuring Pais' longtime quintet that includes fellow Europeans plus Chris Cheek on tenor and soprano. Pais displays the ability to play in a Pat Metheny Group type of folk/jazz setting, under slightly more fiery circumstances and also fairly straight-ahead. His compositions are both challenging to the musicians and, due to the cool tone colors that are employed, somewhat soothing to listeners. While Cheek and keyboardist Leo Genovese have their spots and there is an appealing ensemble sound to the group, it is during Francisco Pais' times in the spotlight when Not Afraid of Color is of greatest interest. "Always Dreaming" is his best showcase on this subtle CD.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow