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Rodrigo Amado & Chris Corsano: No Place to Fall

Mark Corroto By

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Did you know that besides his talents as a saxophonist and composer, Rodrigo Amado is also a professional photographer? His camera captures an instant in time and preserves it for eternity. Now compare his photographs' frozen moments against the seemingly perpetual motion that is this free jazz set with drummer Chris Corsano. This juxtaposition of static and dynamic calls to mind the Chinese Yin and Yang symbol, or how opposites can actually be complementary, connected and interdependent. But then again, we are investigating jazz here.

Amado and Corsano have recorded together, This Is Our Language (Not Two Records, 2015) and A History of Nothing (Trost Records, 2018), in a quartet setting with Joe McPhee and Kent Kessler. Even though this disc was recorded between the above sessions, it feels as if the previous quartet recordings act as prologue, and blessing for this session.

Amado certainly displays his admiration for Joe McPhee's music here, especially his early recordings, and even McPhee's duo Dream Defenders (MNÓAD, 2012) with Corsano. The disc (also available as a cassette and download) opens with thunderous room clearing "Announcement." Both musicians exhaust themselves with wave upon wave of energy music, as if to declare, "who is with us?" Not that the pair dial back their vigor, but "Don't Take It Too Bad" enters in sotto voice. Amado's tenor plies breathy notes against quiet tom-tom drumming in a piece that builds momentum by trading off each other's energy. If Amado's photography captures a static image, Corsano's drumming is the converse. He is in constant motion, like if Paal Nilssen-Love was fused with Elvin Jones. The title track is squeezed out with blurts and blasts of notes that draw inspiration from both early tenor titans and 1960s free players. By the time Corsano enters with this rumbling attack, the pair have ignited a forest fire of sound. "Still with us?" they ask, then deliver two more tracks, the final "We'll Be Here In The Morning," a bone-tired bluesy psalm. It is certainly worth the wait.

Track Listing: Announcement; Don't Take It Too Bad; No Place To Fall; Into The Valley; We’ll Be Here In The Morning.

Personnel: Rodrigo Amado: tenor saxophone; Chris Corsano: drums.

Title: No Place to Fall | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Astral Spirits

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