Friday, January 08, 2010

Rodrigo Amado - The Abstract Truth (European Echoes, 2009)

Rodrigo Amado draws on the saxophone trio tradition running from Sonny Rollins and Lee Konitz through to modern masters like Ken Vandermark. In fact, he is joined here by a couple of Vandermark's regular cohorts, Kent Kessler on bass and Paul Nilssen-Love on drums. They make a really tight trio that plays thrilling music on this disc. Amado plays with a deep, brawny tone on baritone saxophone and fleet and nimble sensibility on tenor saxophone. The bass and drums team is particularly impressive on "Clouds and Shadows" where they are building layers of music and rhythm for Amado to improvise over. Most of the tracks build to a strong and fast go-for-broke sensibility, that I found thrilling to listen to. "Universe Unmasked" has rugged and powerful baritone propelled by muscular bass and drums, making it a highlight of the disc. A couple of tracks explore more abstract territory, with smears of saxophone over rumbling percussion. "The Kiss" opens with abstract bowed bass and probing tenor that builds in intensity to expansive trio improvisation before dropping back down to an open and spacey section. I am really enthusiastic about this disc, I found it exciting and consistently engaging and look forward to checking out more of Amado's work in the future. The Abstract Truth - amazon.com

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