Monday, December 27, 2021

Rodrigo Amado Northern Liberties - We Are Electric (NotTwo Records, 2021)

Rodrigo Amado's Nothern Liberties quartet finds the tenor saxophonist in the company of Thomas Johansson on trumpet, Jon Rune Strom on bass and Gard Nilssen on drums. The music was recorded in Lisbon during July of 2017 and it is the first collaboration between these musicians, but you wouldn't know it by the intricate way they play together. On the opening track "Spark," the music begins a tight four part medley of performances, beginning with raw and sparkling free jazz right from the start. Superfast interplay with a powerful trumpet solo springing to life, over boiling bass and drums before laying out to dynamic open space, with saxophone, bass and drums playing abstract, extended techniques to expand the soundscape. The music then coalesces around the trumpet, with great rolling drums and they play off each other other ramping up the atmosphere heading back to full speed led by cutting saxophone, as the two horns duel in space above the bass and drums. "Ignition" has an interlude for bowed bass and brushed percussion, providing a quiet section, as the saxophone and trumpet develop brash jazzy improvisation for restrained saxophone and trumpet, along side graceful bass and drums. The drummer moves back to sticks for a riveting section in tandem with the trumpet, creating a spark that leads to a hearty full band improvisation taken at great speed. Low tones of trumpet and saxophone usher in "Activity" developing exploratory sounds bending long notes and tones in an alluring manner, before the group moves back to a bracing free jazz improvisation. Finally, "Response" uses more excellent bowed bass which is powerfully played and very impressive. The rest of the band fills in led by squalls of saxophone, and trumpet with drums dancing around stoic bass, which rounds out this very fine album. We Are Electric - Bandcamp

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