Friday, May 24, 2019

Rodrigo Amado / Chris Corsano - No Place to Fall (Astral Spirits, 2019)

Recorded in Lisbon in July of 2014, this excellent session is finally getting a well deserved release, as a limited edition CD, cassette tape and digital album. Lisbon based tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado is a linchpin of that city’s fertile jazz scene, leading many albums and collaborating with musicians from around the world including American drummer Chris Corsano who has a wide resume playing with luminaries from the jazz and experimental music spheres. “Announcement” opens this album with fast and true free jazz featuring dark toned saxophone and crisp and righteous drumming, sounding like they are tapping into a never ending stream of improvisational possibilities. They double down, getting deep into it, tearing at the musical firmament while at the same time clearly articulating their message of freedom on their instruments. Amado’s tone is cutting and true, able to cleave through the gales of percussion that Corsano conjures while accenting the music with well placed sharp squeals, both of them showing excellent stamina to relentlessly drive this tune to the finish line without fail. The title track, “No Place to Fall,” stretches out from some initial probing honks and squeaks, with Amado launching piercing long tones and guttural asides in equal measure. Corsano launches in after a few minutes, driving the music into a thrilling collective improvisation of shimmering drums and dark and powerful tenor saxophone locked in real time creation. The music accelerates to a relentless peak of excitement, with each musician pushing the other on to reach newer heights with brutal and pummeling drums cascading around the saxophone and receiving top flight playing in response, pushing for transcendence and delivering a spellbinding performance. “Into the Valley” opens the the musicians in sync together playing at a medium up tempo, allowing the music to flex in a strong and supple manner. The sound grows deeper and richer as the volume and speed of the performance increases, creating a powerhouse sense of unity where each musician and instrument is an extension of the other, and their improvisations are seemingly flowing from a shared synaptic link. They downshift to a more open almost bluesier section that suits their sound well, and also serves as an excellent launching pad when they decide to take to the skies with an uproarious and cacophonous section of this continuous improvisation. This album worked very well as a whole and it is clear that Amado and Corsano were well matched and made the most of their encounter. Hopefully they will be able to get together soon and pick up where they left off, creating excellent and exciting music. No Place to Fall - Astral Spirits Records

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