When it's a matter of new, outside free-jazz ensembles, not all that many can afford to stay together for a second go-round. The Red Trio have. Their first came out in 2010 on Clean Feed (see review from April 5, 2010). It was quite lively and showed much promise.
They return with the vinyl-only release Empire (No Business NBLP 37) in a limited edition of 400. That is a good thing because this is some very well-executed outness. Rodrigo Pinheiro (piano), Hernani Faustino (bass) and Gabriel Ferrandini (drums and percussion) are joined this time out by tenor-soprano man John Butcher.
The addition of Butcher adds another significant voice to the dialog. The three pieces find the augmented trio (quartet) in total control over the exuberant chaos they conjure up. Each player contributes his eloquent avant voice to an ever-shifting, pulsating mass of sensuous, energetic collage. This sort of free music is quite difficult to play well (in spite of what you might have heard). The four of them DO it well. They get the coloristic punctuations just right with a kind of total synchronism that can be thrilling to behold. This music does not swing in the conventional sense. But the ins and outs, the entrances and exits of each player when done right (as it is here) is its own sort of out-of-time swing. And they have that quality without exception.
The Red Trio (and John Butcher) outdo themselves on this one. Immerse yourself in it and you will come away with a big smile on your face! Highly recommended.