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Luis Lopes Humanization 4tet: Live in Madison

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "Two Girls"

Respectively, Portuguese artists Luis Lopes (guitar) and Rodrigo Amado (saxophone) are known for aggressive tactics and forward motion at almost any tempo. There's nothing sheepish about this live date, recorded in Madison, WI. And there's no looking back as the band seemingly loaded up on energy drinks for this high-impact set. Lopes' variable use of distortion techniques—among other factors—provide a razor-sharp and stinging soundstage, coupled with Amado's rip-roaring solos. They use space as an equalizer amid snaking time changes and vibrant pulses laid out by the rhythm section. Hence, this performance must have given the audience an adrenalin rush.

The quartet gels to a smacking funk-rock groove on "Two Girls." Amado's heavily serrated lines, abetted with screeching plaintive cries and torrential downpours underscore the ferocity of the overall vibe. They punch out a firm pulse as the frontline renders bop- like unison choruses to state the primary theme. Lopes often counters and circles Amado's phrasings as they build tension and mix it up with a touch of skronk during the bridge. Here, the musicians throw caution to the wind, amped by the rhythm section's punchy outline. Hence, the diverse track mix serves them well. But it's the performers' collective tenacity and unrelenting force-field that catapult this outing to towering heights, equating to a decidedly entertaining form-factor.

Personnel: Luis Lopes: electric guitar; Aaron Gonzalez: double bass; Rodrigo Amado: tenor saxophone; Stefan Gonzalez: drums.

Title: Live in Madison | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Ayler Records

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