Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Rodrigo Amado's This Is Our Language Quartet - Let the Free Be Men (Trost Records, 2021)

Recorded live in Copenhagen during March of 2017, tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado's This Is Our Language Quartet includes three of the heaviest hitters in modern jazz, Joe McPhee on pocket trumpet and soprano saxophone, Kent Kessler on bass and Chris Corsano on drums. The get right to it on the opening track "Resist" where a drum solo picks up, joined by urgent bowed bass, finally tenor saxophone and trumpet enter, filling the available space, and leading to a dynamic full band improvisation. Raw saxophone and heavy drumming with pulses of plucked bass and trumpet filigrees lead to torrential free improvisation which is very exciting and fresh sounding, peaking with an apocalyptic roar near the end. Long stark tones from horns and bowed bass build a haunting character on "Let the Free Be Men" Piercing horns and skittish percussion create an unnerving sound that coalesces into plucked bass and a two saxophone front line with brushed percussion. The tempo picks up halfway through the performance with the soprano and tenor saxophones sound hot, amid boiling bass and drums, leading to a righteous full band improvisation, that is fast and potent. "Men is Woman is Man" uses long tones of brass with rapid bowed bass and abstract sounds from the rest of the group. After sawing bowed bass with ripe trumpet, strong caffeinated tenor saxophone enters, and everyone comes together, then gradually fades out. Beautiful plucked bass along side abstract percussion launch "Never Surrender" with gradually developing saxophone unfurling over bass and drums, creating a raw and exciting free improvisation for quartet. McPhee turns to soprano saxophone swooping gliding grandly, then two saxophone bass and drums rush to the finish line. This was a very good and consistently interesting disc, meaning a confident free jazz ensemble offering a lot of opportunities for improvisation and unusual textures to develop within the music which made for exciting listening. Let the Free Be Men -

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