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Rodrigo Amado: Wire Quartet (2014)

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Rodrigo Amado: Wire Quartet Track review of "Abandon Yourself"

How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

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 and fluctuating intensity, parallels the group's democratic interplay, as each musician plays a distinct role. With moments of quietude and oscillating rhythmic contrasts, they often soar to an apex and reformulate the attack via asynchronous call and response dialogues. They recycle their engines on numerous occasions on this frantic journey that casts emotive sentiment along with a festive free-form approach, tinted with melodic flurries and blazing jaunts into the ozone. Amado and associates render a prismatic storyline, framed with an industrious, action-packed onslaught that seizes your attention from start to finish.

Personnel: Rodrigo Amado: tenor saxophone; Manuel Mota: electric guitar; Hernani Faustino: double bass; Gabriel Ferandini: drums.

Record Label: Clean Feed Records

Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


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