Another spirited outing from saxophonist Rodrigo Amado, Searching For Adam finds the tenor and baritone saxophonist in the company of three of the most in-demand players working today: cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, drummer Gerald Cleaver, and bassist John Hébert.
Like his previous discs, The Abstract Truth (European Echoes, 2009), and Teatro (European Echoes, 2006), with Paal Nilssen-Love and Kent Kessler, Amado unveils a keen sense of improvisation tempered with an ability to obtain an ensemble sound of composition and structure.
The disc opens with Amado soloing, and Ho Bynum quickly joining in, both players leaping and twirling in some dancing gambol, as Cleaver makes the whole a groove thing. The music is a loose-limbed mosh. Then they are onto a more serious sound with "Waiting For Andy," a 21-minute meditation that replaces dance with pause. Amado's baritone, paired with Hébert, forms a dreamy climate for Bynum's fits and starts pm flugehorn, his horn taking on the habits of a turntablist scratching new notes.
Elsewhere, Cleaver's agile and stylish drum solo, "Pick Up Spot," is the centerpiece between two more thoughtful tracks, "Sunday Break" and "4th Avenue, Adam's Block," the latter a sideways bebop nod. The band, inspired by Cleaver's rumbling aggressive beats, swings and doesn't swing, jumping in to squeeze off notes, then retreating. When the mood shifts, so does the center, switching to Hébert's time, then Bynum.
The quartet is adroit at matching subtle changes of emotion. Amado's saxophone drawing down the players, signaling a conclusion to the music. All instantly composed and all thoroughly complete.
Newman's Informer; Waiting For Andy; Renee, Lost In Music; Sunday
Break; Pick Up Spot; 4th Avenue, Adam's Block.
Rodrigo Amado: tenor and baritone saxophones; Taylor Ho Bynum:
cornet, flugelhorn; John Hébert: double-bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums.
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