's Motion Trio is the model of free jazz genuineness and efficiency, and by that I mean proficiency. They give off an impression of nonchalance here, but don't let their relaxed approach fool you, beneath the surface their music is burning with all the agitation of the 1960's New Thing in jazz.
After a wave a recordings with guests that included trumpeter Peter Evans
on The Freedom Principle
(NoBusiness, 2014) and Live In Lisbon
(NoBusiness, 2014) and trombonist Jeb Bishop The Flame Alphabet
(Not Two, 2013) and Burning Live At Jazz Ao Centro
(JACC, 2012), the trio of tenor saxophonist Amado, cellist Miguel Mira and drummer Gabriel Ferrandini returned to the studio to make music as a core unit. This had not been done since their self-titled debut in 2009.
It is as if they had returned from the wars, and their homecoming here was a celebration. Amado has worked and recorded with Joe McPhee
, Taylor Ho Bynum
, Paal Nilssen-Love
, Chris Corsano
, Luís Lopes
, and Gerald Cleaver
, to name just a few. Mira performs with the Variable Geometry Orchestra and Iridium String Quartet, and Ferrandini with RED Trio and Lisbon Connection.
That is not the full truth, this trio is a day-to-day working/practicing unit. That is quite apparent in each of these three lengthy tracks.
"Liberty" opens with a tentative exploration between Mira and Ferrandini. The pair explore the rattle-tic shadows of an otherwise twosome. Amado enters cautiously and deliberately, as if to gauge the atmosphere. The adventure occurs, but the journey here rarely draws on conflict as the driver of improvisation. Amado's saxophone is busy on "Freedom Is A Two-Edged Sword," like that of Evan Parker
, but with a fuller sound. He never neglects the bottom. The piece doesn't charge full steam ahead until the finale, then it comes as a rush.
The lengthiest track, "Responsibility," at twenty-plus minutes, is the signature piece here. Mira's nimble cello work and the busy clack and chatter of Ferrandini's kit provide a platform for Amado to summon the same meditative muse as John Coltrane
often drew from in his introspective pieces. The music, or should we say prayer, builds momentum with the trio's realization of a unified sound. The journey is steep with many switchbacks, but our guides are experts and the passage is secure. Amen.