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Rodrigo Amado: This Is Our Language

Mark Corroto By

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It was only a matter of time before this session was to be. Portuguese tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado had, for years, been gaining the attention of American players, and recording his Motion Trio with guests such as Peter Evans and Jeb Bishop. When he conceived of this quartet, it was hand-in-the-glove fit.

The title, This Is Our Language seems to refer to Ornette Coleman's This Is Our Music (Atlantic, 1961) and In All Languages (Caravan Of Dreams, 1987). Like the two Coleman recordings, separated by nearly thirty years, Amado's band is both before its time and, certainly of this moment.

Amado's tenor saxophone opens the disc, joined almost immediately by Joe McPhee's alto. The pair slowly weave a simple blues pattern until Kent Kessler's bass walks in. The Chicago bassist recorded two splendid discs with Amado and Paal Nilssen-Love a decade ago, plus his pulse held the famous McPhee/Peter Brötzmann disc Tales Out Of Time (Hatology, 2004) together. Amado and McPhee speak the language of Ornette, but also that of Albert Ayler. The title track opens with a drum solo by Chris Corsano, who is probably the best improvising non-jazz drummer working today. His music, which can be heard on two stellar duo recordings with McPhee on Roaratorio Records, refuses to be limited by the moniker jazz. The immediacy of the sound rushes past. McPhee's pocket trumpet ignites Amado. Both players break the speed limit, urged on by Kessler's pace. The music slows, then a vocalized trumpet with breath is interlaced with Amado's quiet solo to bring the piece to an end.

The open piece "Ritual Evolution," quiets itself with bowed bass and hand drumming while McPhee's pocket trumpet and Amado's tenor. As the music picks up speed, it develops and organizes itself by way of the blues (what else) into a reasoned pattern. The same can be said for "Human Behavior," that opens with a tenor/drum duo before spreading out into an energy piece, then an extended bass solo that folds back into McPhee's bright trumpet. Amado and Corsano lay out, as McPhee delivers his now infamous extended technique solos. The music is compelling as a quartet, in duos, trio, and just listening to each player solo.

Track Listing: The Primal Word; This Is Our Language; Theory Of Mind (For Joe); Ritual Evolution; Human Behavior.

Personnel: Rodrigo Amado: tenor saxophone; Joe McPhee: pocket trumpet, alto saxophone; Kent Kessler: double bass; Chris Corsano: drums.

Title: This Is Our Language | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Not Two Records

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