Home » Jazz Articles » The Attic: Summer Bummer


Album Review

The Attic: Summer Bummer


Sign in to view read count
The Attic: Summer Bummer
Although the cover painting might be interpreted as a comment on the two-dimensional nature of beach holidays, the title actually derives from the name of the festival in Antwerp where this invigorating free jazz by The Attic was recorded. It's the second outing by the band, which takes its name from its eponymous debut (NoBusiness, 2017). The outfit comprises Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado, a muscular tenor gaining in stature with each successive release, his countryman bassist Gonçalo Almeida and up-and-coming Dutch drummer Onno Govaert, who replaces Marco Franco from the band's first album. The musicians combine to traverse a program of three lengthy collective journeys, navigated on the spot without recourse to a map.

Amado generates form as he goes, a bit like one of those cartoon characters frantically laying railway track just in front of a runaway train. In Amado's case that translates into extemporized motifs to reboot the improvs, something that he's perhaps picked up from his association with Joe McPhee. That's what he does in "Walking Metamorphosis." After a crisp, unhurried start, Almeida slightly ups the tempo and Govaert follows bestowing urgency upon Amado's slowly uncoiling line. The reedman paces himself, working up to an unrelenting yelping falsetto before giving way for a resonant plucked bass exposition with cymbal accents. It's at this point that Amado conjures the melodic figure which launches the next section towards its ultimate destination of overblowing and skronk.

Two of those instances of creative empathy which forge compelling music catch the attention in "Free For All." Almeida's introduction of wavering, arco squeaks entices Amado to intertwine in the same dog-whistle register. He develops the idea by alternating with gruff bellows before Govaert, who knows how to anchor a big saxophone sound from his work with John Dikeman in Cactus Truck, joins underpinning what becomes a dirge-like rubato, unfurling into gradually mounting intensity. Then later another insistent phrase from Amado lends impetus to the improv, only to be heightened even further as Almeida sheaths his bow to switch to a propulsive pizzicato.

Such moments characterize this well-balanced threesome and can be found throughout this restlessly searching date.

Track Listing

Walking Metamorphosis; Free for All; Aimless at the Beach.


Rodrigo Amado: tenor saxophone; Gonçalo Almeida: double bass; Onno Govaert: drums.

Album information

Title: Summer Bummer | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records

Post a comment about this album

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.



The Red Door
Orrin Evans
Blues For Gerry
David Hazeltine
Nowhere Girl
Nicky Schrire
Taj Mahal


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.