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Rodrigo Amado's Motion Trio and Peter Evans

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Ever since the 2009 debut of the Motion Trio, Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado has sought to broaden the options available through the addition of more fire power. On both Burning Live (Jazz Ao Centro, 2012) and The Flame Alphabet (Not Two, 2012), Chicago trombonist Jeb Bishop occupied that berth, his garrulous melodicism proving a winning match to Amado's brusque tenor. Two years on and the reedman has a different collaborator on board, as American trumpeter Peter Evans joins him on a brace of recordings, one live and one in the studio. In this edition of the band the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rodrigo Amado: Wire Quartet

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The debut album of Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado's Wire Quartet--featuring the rhythm section of the acclaimed RED Trio, double bassist Hernâni Faustino and drummer Gabriel Ferrandini (who also plays in Amado's long-standing working Motion Trio) and experimental guitarist Manuel Mota--demonstrate Amado strongest and most intense performances to date, defying any attempt to associate it with post-bop or free jazz. This powerful quartet also establishes Amado's wise choice when it comes to radical and original sounding guitarists, after collaborating with Luis Lopez in the Portuguese-American Humanization Quartet. The titles of the three extended pieces frame the spirit ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rodrigo Amado: Wire Quartet

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Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado is an aggressive, improvisational dynamo who has amassed a hearty discography for Clean Feed Records and several other European record labels. His mode of delivery parallels a heavyweight boxer who jabs, dances, and executes vicious left hooks and uppercuts. Recorded in a Lisbon studio, his quartet opens the floodgates with blossoming theme building efforts. The musicians generate stormy grooves and intricately developed motifs amid their unbridled intensity. The first track “Abandon Yourself," is a 28-minute epic, where the band gradually builds momentum with turbulent dialogues and thrusting pulses. Amado's rough-hewn tone, assertive theme-building lines ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rodrigo Amado: Wire Quartet

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It is possible that Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado's earlier releases caught your attention because of the names of his playing partners. Chicago trombonist Jeb Bishop recorded two discs with Amado's Motion Trio, The Flame Alphabet (Not Two, 2012) and Burning Live At Jazz AO Centro (JACC Records, 2012). There was also Searching For Adam (Not Two, 2010) with cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, drummer Gerald Cleaver, and bassist John Hébert and The Abstract Truth (European Echoes, 2009) with bassist Kent Kessler, and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. Obviously, he keeps good company, like bassist Ken Filiano, guitarist Luís Lopes, and trumpeter Peter Evans.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rodrigo Amado Motion Trio + Jeb Bishop: The Flame Alphabet

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The collaboration between the prolific Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado and his Motion Trio with Chicagoan trombonist Jeb Bishop, has produced two albums so far. The live recording, Burning Live At Jazz AO Centro (JACC Records, 2012) and the 2011 studio recording The Flame Alphabet. The addition of Bishop to Amado's trio was organic. Both are experienced improvisers who worked and led high-octane outfits. Amado collaborated and led bands with American trumpeter Dennis González, with Chicagoan bassist Kent Kessler and Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-love and the different incarnations of the Lisbon Improvisation Players. Bishop played with the Vandermark 5 and Peter ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rodrigo Amado's Motion Trio + Jeb Bishop: The Flame Alphabet

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Remember free-bop? While there's no hard and fast definition, the term was used to encompass jazz boasting a written head, often at rapid bebop tempo, which subsequently opened up harmonically and rhythmically, but without straying completely off the map. Think some of the freewheeling Blue Note discs of Sam Rivers and Andrew Hill or some of the roller coaster charts from reedman Anthony Braxton's classic quartet with trumpeter Kenny Wheeler. As a descriptor it also fits the output of the Transatlantic grouping of trombonist Jeb Bishop and Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado's Motion Trio, but with a twist as the foursome ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rodrigo Amado: Burning Live At Jazz AO Centro

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Rodrigo Amado's improvising Motion Trio might be better described as The Confluence Trio or Conflux, because its sound is a meeting of rivers. Like the three rivers of Pittsburgh, where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers join to create the Ohio River, or Sangam, India where the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati meet, the music of the Motion Trio flows together to create a seamless whole, as was quite evident on its self-titled debut, Motion Trio (European Echoes, 2010).The trio returns with saxophonist Amado, cellist Miguel Mira and drummer Gabriel Ferrandini, and adds a fourth tributary with trombonist Jeb Bishop, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rodrigo Amado: Searching For Adam

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Another spirited outing from saxophonist Rodrigo Amado, Searching For Adam finds the tenor and baritone saxophonist in the company of three of the most in-demand players working today: cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, drummer Gerald Cleaver, and bassist John Hébert. Like his previous discs, The Abstract Truth (European Echoes, 2009), and Teatro (European Echoes, 2006), with Paal Nilssen-Love and Kent Kessler, Amado unveils a keen sense of improvisation tempered with an ability to obtain an ensemble sound of composition and structure. The disc opens with Amado soloing, and Ho Bynum quickly joining in, both players leaping and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rodrigo Amado: Motion Trio

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Abstraction is too often both separated from and associated with improvised music. Either sounds are divorced from meaning outside themselves, or expected to tell some sort of story. Neither euphemism really works that well. But image is a central fact of Portuguese improviser Rodrigo Amado's work, whether referring to the representational or nonrepresentational--after all, in addition to being a tenor and baritone saxophonist, he's an accomplished photographer whose work takes on the angularity of Stephen Shore (see his Surface (European Echoes, 2007), dedicated to Shore) with a profoundly delicate, humanist approach (Shore: lived-in, Amado: lived). Furthermore, his father Manuel is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rodrigo Amado: Motion Trio

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Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado is one of the busier and more productive European jazz improvisers. He follows up his superfine trio release, The Abstract Truth (European Echoes, 2009), with a new and equally explosive rhythm section. Here, cellist Miguel Mira and drummer Gabriel Ferrandini replace eminent improvisers, bassist Kent Kessler and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love.

Amado--a prolific artist who often records for the increasingly noteworthy Portugal-based Clean Feed Records amid touring jaunts in the USA--is a formidable player who can blow walls down, while transmitting a softer side when appropriate. Mira imparts numerous perspectives while holding down the fluid ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rodrigo Amado: Motion Trio

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Listening to saxophonist Rodrigo Amado, while knowing that he is also an accomplished professional photographer, lends insight into his sound and sense of proportion. His trio members, cellist Miguel Mira and drummer Gabriel Ferrandini, share his recognition of arrangement, distribution, and music-making dimensions. Motion Trio is a freely improvised recording possessing balance.

Amado's previous trio recordings with Chicago bassist Kent Kessler and Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love--Teatro (European Echoes, 2006) and The Abstract Truth (European Echoes, 2009)--iintroduced both his bright tenor sound and bold approach to the baritone. Unlike the previous sessions, where the ensemble's sound was built upon ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rodrigo Amado: The Abstract Truth

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Saxophonist Rodrigo Amado, bassist Kent Kessler, and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love is an international trio featuring players from Portugal, United States and Norway, respectively. But on its second recording, The Abstract Truth, the assemblage speaks the same language; its mother tongue being hard-hitting, concise improvisation.

This disc follows the Teatro (European Echoes, 2006), the trio's very first meeting. Where the previous disc was wide-ranging, barbarous, and marked by lengthy pieces, the music here is more concise, with most tracks in the five-to-seven minute range.

Amado--a rising star in Europe heard recently with Dennis Gonzalez' Yells At Eels ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Braxton/Fonda; Rodrigo Amado; TECK String Quartet: Strings & Reeds

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There is an aspect of instrumentation alluded to by Peter Brötzmann in the title of his tune “Alto Lightning In A Violin Sky, an homage to departed fellow saxophonist Jimmy Lyons. The sound of reeds and strings, whether in unison or scrabbling against one another, has a common quality. Maybe it's the distant relationship between reeds, horsehair and wood and their respective tactility and ultimate diversity.

A purely reed-and-string lineup isn't exactly common in jazz, though there are a number of precedents for the discs considered here: Eric Dolphy and Richard Davis; Sam Rivers and Dave Holland; Evan ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rodrigo Amado: Surface

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Like the preceding disc from Rodrigo Amado entitled The Space Between (Clean Feed), this outing works the same tightrope. The Portuguese saxophonist adds cellist Tomas Ulrich to this trio of Carlos Zingaro (violin) and Ken Filiano (bass) for an uncommon chamber jazz experience.

Amado is probably best known for his recordings with the Lisbon Improvisation Players and recently for the critic's favorite Teatro (Clean Feed 2006) with Paal Nilssen-Love and Kent Kessler.

This quartet's recording, while walking away from the jazz tradition, shares much with openly improvised music. But that is not to say this music ...



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