Title: This is our language
By: Rodrigo Amado
Released in: 2015
Catalog No: MW 922-2
Price : 12 EUR
FREEJAZZBLOG.org ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2015
1. The Primal Word 06:43
2. This Is Our Language 11:22
3. Theory Of Mind (for Joe) 06:27
4. Ritual Evolution 08:20
5. Human Behavior 10:24
Rodrigo Amado – Tenor Sax
Joe McPhee – Alto Sax, Pocket Trumpet
Kent Kessler – Bass
Chris Corsano – Drums
Recorded By Joaquim Monte At Namouche Studios, Lisbon, December 2nd, 2012
Mixed And Mastered By Rodrigo Amado And Joaquim Monte
Produced By Rodrigo Amado
Executive Production By Marek Winiarski
Photos By Nuno Martins And Vera Marmelo (INLAY)
Liner Notes By Stuart Broomer . Design By Rui Garrido
What the critics say:
One recent September evening, my ears mostly deafened by the muscular performance of London Ontario’s legendary noise progenitors The Nihilist Spasm Band, I floated towards the bar and ordered a beer. Joe McPhee, who had guested that evening on pocket trumpet (and styrofoam cup) materialized to my left. I immediately introduced myself and gushed praise about his new release This Is Our Language on Poland’s venerable Not Two label, which I had received only a week or two earlier. Mr. McPhee’s eyes widened. “You have that?!” he asked incredulously. “I don’t have a copy yet. I’ve been on the road though, so maybe it’s waiting for me at home.” I explained that I’d been captivated by the beautiful album art on Rodrigo Amado’s website (www.rodrigoamado.com - who’s as capable a photographer as he is a musician), and had purchased it directly from label head Marek Winiarski.
The classic idiom, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” does not apply to this album. Even a cursory glance at This Is Our Language would stop a casual reader of this blog in their tracks. There’s clearly something special on offer here. A crisp block white typeface - the kind favored by Peter Brotzmann - announces the album title over a largely black background. The four musicians (leader Rodrigo Amado on tenor saxophone, Joe McPhee on pocket trumpet and alto saxophone, bassist Kent Kessler, and drummer Chris Corsano) are spotlit in a sparse, gentle yellow. The four figures are concealed and not immediately obvious - much like the ideas contained on the disc.
This Is Our Language is a natural extension of the similarly titled This Is Our Music by the Ornette Coleman Quartet (Atlantic, 1961). Amado’s group enjoys the same clairvoyant chemistry as Coleman’s did, and are no less equipped to deliver their message. Amado et al. summarize and expound upon the fifty-odd years of achievements in free jazz that have passed since Coleman’s opus. Ken Burns’ 2001 PBS miniseries Jazz may not have adequately covered the scope of this criminally neglected sub-genre, but fourteen years later, Amado has.
The album opens with Amado and McPhee slowly interlacing phrases in the aptly titled, ‘The Primal Word’, a sedate soundscape which mirrors the mysterious aura of the cover. Interactions liven with the inclusion of an inquisitive Kessler at the two-minute mark. ‘This Is Our Language’ begins with McPhee playfully imitating a swanee whistle, and Corsano leads us gracefully towards incendiary statements from both McPhee and Amado. The two summon the melodic auras of Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman while maintaining their own modern, pointed attacks. McPhee bubbles with youthful and joyous creativity, vocalizing into his horn, his moans blurring into smeared notes. The disc’s final track, ‘Human Behaviour’, draws on the duo interplay of McPhee and Amado that began the disc. At this point the group’s sound has blown wide open and the mystery is revealed, Kessler’s strings buzzing against the fretboard earnestly and without abandon. McPhee appears a final time delivering at first ringing, almost stately lines that eventually dissolve into spiraling, sonic spurts.
Lisbon’s Rodrigo Amado has chosen a crack team of improvisers with whom to present his vocabulary. With This Is Our Language, he has succeeded in uniting the varied parlances of creative musicians around the world. Over the span of forty-three minutes, Amado has condensed a diverse array of concepts that blossom and mature with each listening. This is a commanding and authoritative recording that should not be missed.
by Peter Gough and
This band has a long story. When Rodrigo Amado was organizing two concerts associated with his photo exhibition at Museu da Electricidade, he decided to fulfill a long-standing wish.
For the opening, Amado played with his Motion Trio (Miguel Mira on cello and Gabriel Ferrandini on drums), augmented by Carlos Zíngaro, Rodrigo Pinheiro and Joe McPhee.
For the second concert, Amado conceived a project that could also be taken into the studio involving McPhee – a strong influence – but since context is important, the other musicians were crucial. He chose Kent Kessler on bass as he’s always grounded and can add a powerful groove, even “when things get radically abstract“, as he put it (he'd formed part of Amado’s earlier trio with PNL). And Kessler has known McPhee from the Brötzmann Chicago Tentet and Brötzmann’s quartet with Michael Zerang. If Kessler was the earth, Amado also needed someone who was the air, someone “to unbalance things, an acid element“. He chose Chris Corsano, one of the most exciting and inventive drummers on the scene, who’s been playing with McPhee in a splendid duo for a number of years.
As with all Amado’s music, the album is completely improvised, with no prior discussion. This Is Our Language starts with the drum-free “The Primal World“ opening with Amado’s tenor, joined almost immediately by McPhee's alto. The pair slowly weaves an abstract blues pattern until Kessler's bass walks in. From there on the track retains a beautiful, balladesque atmosphere, with shades of “Round Midnight“ towards the end.
“Theory of Mind (for Joe)“ is a classic saxophone trio. Amado said that he started a tune with Kessler and Corsano and after very intense playing he kept creating spots for McPhee to come in. But he just watched the others and listened, with the kind of concentration that felt as if he was playing with them – a silent contribution, hence the title “Theory of Mind, For Joe“.
The other three tracks are classic quartet pieces, sometimes with McPhee also on trumpet and driven by repetitive saxophone riffs (“Ritual Evolution“), sometimes presenting highly energetic high speed playing generating exciting duos and solos (“Human Behaviour“, “This Is Our Language“).
The title of the album apparently refers to Ornette Coleman's This Is Our Music from 1961(with Coleman on alto, Don Cherry on pocket trumpet, Charlie Haden on bass and Ed Blackwell on drums) and In All Languages (Caravan Of Dreams, 1987), since both albums have deeply influenced Amado’s music. But then again Amado and McPhee are also familiar with the musical language of John Coltrane and Albert Ayler, obvious influences. Additionally, Amado stated that beyond the Ornette homage, the title is also “a reminiscence to the language of improvisation and to the absolute miracle that is to share a common and abstract language with other musicians and with it be able to build coherent forms and meanings - a language that is both common but also built from the highly individual and personal languages of each musician.“
In the end, the players selected were perfect for the music. McPhee and Amado have a similar approach: both draw from tradition, the avant-garde and improv, and the result is a sensitive and expressive album
by Martin Schray and
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 Brˆtzmann 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.
by Mark Corroto, AllAboutJazz.com
Experimental jazz, largely framed on wide-ranging improvisational tactics, inhabits a tightknit if not cloistered community, partially by default due to its avant-garde underpinnings. With the album moniker This Is Our Language, eminent Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado imparts a bond or connection to free-jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman's fifth album, This Is Our Music (Atlantic, 1960).
Legendary saxophonist, trumpeter Joe McPhee consummates the frontline, as the overall muse encapsulates a hybrid exposition of temperate and supersonic explorations amid nods to free bop and Coleman's historic quartet-based fare. As expected, Amado's full throttle and sweltering performances come to the forefront via a beauty and the beast type hodgepodge of garrulous pulses, extended soloing jaunts and ravenous exchanges, including drummer Chris Corsano's zippy patterns and rumbling grooves.
"Ritual Evolution" builds steam as an investigative piece where prominent Chicago-based bassist Kent Kessler's creaky arco notes frame the band's start/stop momentum, topped off with tentative mini-motifs and staggered interactions. They pose a linear sequence of jittery or perhaps nervy dialogues, featuring McPhee's flirtatious and contrasting pocket trumpet lines. Marked by a gradual ascension, the rhythm section pushes and pulls matters, leading to a simmering climax, amped by the hornists' brisk flurries and terse exchanges. But during the bridge, Amado shifts the flow into a Albert Ayler marching band style vibe leading to closeout as each track tells a distinct story on this polygonal production, accentuated by the quartet's perceptive teamwork.
by Glenn Asterita, AllAboutJazz.com
The title of Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado's latest offering pays unmistakable homage to the late Ornette Coleman. This Is Our Music (Atlantic, 1961) constituted one of Ornette's uncompromising early manifestos, while In All Languages (Caravan of Dreams, 1987) served to reveal both the differences and the similarities between his classic quartet and the electric Prime Time band. Although the music on this selection of five unfettered inventions bears little overt relationship to Coleman's oeuvre (even his seminal Free Jazz contained composed themes) there is one more link.
Joining Amado on the front line, Joe McPhee brings not only his alto saxophone, but also his pocket trumpet to the party. One of his formative influences was Coleman's partner-in-crime trumpeter Don Cherry who inspired him to take up the diminutive brass. And unusually it is the latter axe that he majors on for most of the session. McPhee also shares history with drummer Chris Corsano, with who he has toured and recorded, as well as bassist Kent Kessler via tenure in Peter Brˆtzmann's Chicago Tentet. Unusually for a one-off date, Amado takes full advantage of the instrumental combinations available to him. As well as two trio cuts, even the full group numbers break down into smaller subunits.
As with previous outings which have featured trombonist Jeb Bishop and trumpeter Peter Evans, Amado proves an accomplished foil and revels in the resultant interplay. As if to demonstrate what they might have in mind by the album title the two horns engage in an exchange of extemporized melodicism at the start of "The Primal Word." Amado's breathy tenor circles and soars with McPhee's sweet and sour alto. Spacious and transparent without drums, the piece continues via two further duets, as each of the horns takes turns to spar with Kessler's muscular bass promptings.
Corsano propounds conversational drums on the title track. He pitches different elements of his kit against a cantering gait in a brief solo, before McPhee's trumpet squiggles rub up against Amado's squalling and lower register honking. A strong connection exists between Corsano's roiling drums and Amado's gruff motifs. That's confirmed on "Theory Of Mind" for Amado with the rhythm section, which commences with a sprightly tenor/drums double act, before Amado concludes his exhortations in an overblown stream, baying at the moon. Like much of this record, it's a sign of a tenacious stance that Ornette would have understood.
by John Sharpe, AllAboutJazz.com
Specifics arenít entirely clear as to how Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado pulled off the logistics behind This is Our Language, an eventful studio date with Americans Joe McPhee, Kent Kessler and Chris Corsano. Whatever stars aligned, itís cause for unmitigated celebration that a confluence of favorable factors came to pass even if it took a couple of years for the album to acquire a release date. All four musicians are voracious collaborators, the sort where obstacles like geographical distance, relative financial remuneration and the like rate a telescopic second to a shared imperative for creating collective, organized sound as often and in as varied contexts as possible.
Intimate and verdant saxophone harmonies occupy the opening minutes of ìThe Primal Wordî, the layering lines trailed by the moist pursing of lips and the soft clicking of keypads. Kesslerís tactile pizzicato bass eventually enters as a third contributor to the colloquy. Corsano brings the group to full muster for the title piece with a forceful battery percussion bowed and struck. Kessler sets up a blurred, bouncing thrum as a grounding agent for the electrical storm generated by McPheeís galloping pocket trumpet and Amadoís roaring tenor. Free jazz fervor in detailed fidelity follows in fast order, falling away in the final quarter to more measured velocity and fine bit of McPhee vocalizing wordlessly through brass against Amadoís legato tenor.
McPhee takes a breather on ìTheory of Mindî a martial-minded trio piece improvised in his honor. Corsano whips up boisterous snare froth around Amadoís throaty staccato honks with Kessler adding rubberized string ricochets to the equation after a while. Once again the free jazz altar is properly larded with paint-blistering polyphony. Pocket trumpet and tenor dance and cavort in a staggered, extended exchange with arco bass and hand percussion for ìRitual Evolution. A late in the game repartee between Amado and Corsano orients things melodically before a final collective conflagration. Amado and Corsano launch the first salvo on ìHuman Behaviorî as well, building a churning tempest for McPhee to pierce and scrawl across, but itís the trumpeter and Kessler that end up covering the most ground in a texture-rich duet that closes the set. The argot intimated in the album title is a potent one indeed.
Derek Taylor, dustedmagazine
When the Portuguese avant jazz titan tenorist Rodrigo Amado fields a quartet of edgy all-stars, what do you get? You get This is Our Language (Not Two MW 922-2). And that translates to some great music. It's Rodrigo with the extraordinarily capable vets Joe McPhee on pocket trumpet and alto sax, Kent Kessler on double bass and Chris Corsano on drums.
This is a moderated free-for-all, a series of solos, duets, trios and full-band performances, with an emphasis on the latter. All four most certainly know what they are about. And they generate some exceptional kinetics. Rodrigo is inspired to create blazing mottos and sonic-expressive outburst that show him fully together, a mature artists in full bloom. Joe McPhee with both trumpet and alto brings his "A" game of ideas and lets loose with a space clearing vibrancy perfectly attuned to Amado's outbursts. Kent Kessler is a dynamo of bass energy and a very cohesive voice in the ensemble. And Chris Corsano has that raw-but-schooled explosiveness and timbral breath that spurs all forward.
It's all you could hope for in a spontaneous meeting of these four. The chemistry is all very much there. So much so that this is some of the best work of all four...and as a quartet, look out! This is one heavy quartet and Rodrigo should be proud to have brought this together so excitingly.
I recommend this album to anybody and everybody. Newcomers to Amado, newcomers to free avant, or those who know these four very well. The pump is primed and the musical riches flow abundantly and creatively. Oh, yes, it does!
by Grego Applegate Edwards,
Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado has produced a rich and varied catalogue of free music over the past few years. I first encountered him via the album Searching for Adam (NotTwo, 2010), for which he assembled an excellent American group in John HÈbert, Gerald Cleaver and Taylor Ho Bynum. Heíd previously recorded twice (in 2006 and 2009) with the formidable rhythm section of Kent Kessler and Paal Nilssen-Love. His working groups, including Motion Trio and Wire Quartet (both reviewed here), are just as potent, if not more fiery.
For This is Our Language, recorded in a Lisbon studio in December 2012, Amado assembled an new American group with formidable collective pedigree, pairing the returning Kessler for the first time with drummer Chris Corsano, and adding Joe McPhee on pocket trumpet and alto sax.
The album title This is Our Language hat-tips an Ornette Coleman Quartet classic, This is Our Music (1965); an intriguing choice, as that album consolidated rather than debuted Colemanís new conception of collective dynamics, and also included a rare concession to the tradition, with a respectful take on a jazz standard, ìEmbraceable Youî.
Itís a big ask for McPhee to match Ho Bynumís copacetic rapport with Amado on Searching for Adam, but he manages to do so with quiet authority. Neither reedsman is iconoclastic, as Coleman was, but theyíve each originated distinctive personal voices within the free jazz idiom seeded in the loam of the then-nascent New Thing by Colemanís conception of Jazz to Come.
Amadoís sound is rich and soulful, in the tradition of Coleman Hawkins and Sonny Rollins ñ deep, vibrant harmonics sounded with tenderness, tempered power, and exhortatory urgency. Amadoís in his early fifties. McPhee is in his mid seventies, and best known these days for raucous associations with The Thing and Peter Brˆtzmann. But his previous studies in ìsonic awarenessî with Pauline Oliveros, and performances with Oliverosí Deep Listening Band attest that heís a thoughtful and incisive interlocutor.
The album comprises five improvised pieces, all 7-11 minutes long, the two shortest being trio numbers. Corsano sits out on the opening ìThe Primal Wordî, allowing Amado and McPhee, here on alto sax, to establish a rapport on a smoky, soulful duet. When Kessler comes in, McPhee plays some contrastingly piquant notes, then steps back to allow Amado to duet with Kessler before cutting in himself. Itís a low-key start.
The first sound at the top of the title track is that of a whirly tube, introducing a Chris Corsano solo: a rain of soft percussives onto the kit frame and across taut skins, then a splashily propulsive free rhythm with snare accents, all underpinned by bass drum insistency. Kessler then comes in with rapid, rhythmic fingering and McPhee, sounding taut and urgent on pocket trumpet, matched by sour, strangulated phrasing from Amado.
Corsanoís style is busily kinetic, pressing and energising the others, perfectly matched by Kesslerís pliability, strength and stability. Amado and McPhee play on the friction they generate, drawing on its heat and tension but always pulling back from excess. Where a less masterful group might tip into blow-out excess, ìThis is Our Languageî is a reined-in performance, long reed tones meshing over its cooling rhythm and bleeding into susurrant vocalisations, which echo the opening whirly tube. Amado plays the piece out with a beautifully pensive coda.
ìTheory of Mind (for Joe)î is a febrile improvisation, a trio piece minus its dedicatee. Corsano gets another extended break, hitting harder than ever, reining back only to tempt Amado back into a rhythmic gyre of tightening intensity. Again, the ply of that tension is supremely calibrated, the performance deftly shaped.
The broad-canvas ìRitual Evolutionî is more spacious. At first Amado and McPhee, back on trumpet, peck amid percussive patter while Kessler bows lyrically in the background, but the piece soon opens up and gains momentum. Corsano is particularly vital here, his style freely expansive but maintaining rhythmic bounce as Amado and McPhee blur laconic phrases into streams of invention, then slip apart. McPhee ultimately sounds elegiac, while Amado plays in clipped, sour phrases.
The last number, ìHuman Behaviorî begins as sax/drums duet, Amado pitching short, chewy phrases into Corsanoís protean turbulence. Itís down to Kessler to provide an anchor, and he takes his reward in a plucked solo of taut plasticity, subsiding into a beautifully subdued dialogue with McPhee. When the bassist switches to pyretic bowing, McPhee turns to pressurised susurration, and Corsano adds subtle touches of bowed cymbal as the tension in the performance slowly ebbs, and the album ends unexpectedly with this recedence.
Letís remind ourselves that this is essentially a pick-up group. Itís astonishing what such an aggregation of individualists can achieve when theyíre collectively steeped in a common language, when they can reformulate its syntax with such spontaneity and depth of feeling.
Taking a cue from the classic Ornette Coleman album This Is Our Music, this album shares nearly the same configuration featuring leader Rodrigo Amado on tenor saxophone, Joe McPhee on alto saxophone and pocket trumpet, Kent Kessler on bass and Chris Corsano on drums. Developing themes with powerful free jazz, the music is deep and potent, beginning with ìThe Primal Wordî which displays Kesslerís thick and strong bass playing and some very ripe saxophone over fast drumming. ìThis Is Our Languageî opens with fast, complex and epic drumming as Corsano really pours his heart into the music followed by bass and McPheeís brash and confident trumpet. Amadoís wild eyed saxophone leads the team into an whopping collective improvisation, led by McPheeís herculean trumpet. Things quiet down to a series of long tones to the finish. A rattling saxophone, bass and drum opening powers ìTheory Of Mind (For Joe).î There is fine pungent saxophone playing, complex drumming and Kessler mining a deep tributary of pure sound on bass. After a short drum solo Amado takes charge and the trio charges forth in their tribute to their bandmate McPhee, underscored by massive bass. ìRitual Evolutionî is way open free jazz, unmoored in space and time. There are stabs of bowed bass and probing saxophone before McPhee enters like a prizefighter bobbing and weaving and throwing beautifully timed jabs of trumpet. Everyone comes to and equal footing and then the music begins to take flight, moving faster before finally leveling out in a rousing four way conversation. Roiling drums, bass and jabbing saxophone usher in ìHuman Behaviorî in a driving fashion before McPhee enters the scene on trumpet, adding his unique voice to the proceedings. The group is able to stop on a dime to allow Kessler space for a much deserved bass solo, before regrouping and finishing the performance. This was an excellent album and it is clear that the four musicians had a deep empathetic feeling for the music and one another. To play in a free fashion as they did requires a great amount of confidence and trust in fellow bandmates and that was unequivocally represented on this album.
Despite being a part of the international creative music environment for nearly two decades, tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado (b. 1964, Lisbon) is a bit more obscure than some of his peers ñ at least stateside. Drawing from Sam Rivers, Peter Brˆtzmann and Archie Shepp, one could easily set him alongside players like Ken Vandermark and Mats Gustafsson, though Amado seems to prefer working in a few ensembles with narrower scope. These groups, often collectives that involve or invite at least one American player, have included the Motion Trio (with drummer Gabriel Ferrandini and cellist Miguel Mira), the Humanization Quartet (with Portuguese guitarist Luis Lopes and Texan brothers bassist Aaron Gonz·lez and percussionist Stefan Gonz·lez), the rotating cast of the Lisbon Improvisation Players, and a spry power trio with Chicago bassist Kent Kessler and Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. Amadoís latest, This Is Our Language, brings Kessler back into the fold and adds drummer Chris Corsano and saxophonist/trumpeter Joe McPhee for a program of five group improvisations.
McPhee and Amado make an interesting complementary pair; McPheeís mercurial blues can break your heart and reassemble it in a matter of moments, or quixotically maintain a calculated, constructivist distance. Amado, unlike other players whoíve shared front-line duties with McPhee, doesnít go for absolute broke once the gate is opened, rather gently and methodically teasing out warm grit and, with the clicking of fingers and pads, places a nudging frame on the discís opening conversation (Amado is also a noted photographer). The tenorist is a bit more acerbic against the crinkled, bleak poesy from McPheeís pocket trumpet on the motoring title piece, stretching furrowed peaks and valleys into hot earth while McPhee gulps and buzzes into a cupped, wailing canto. The horn duet that acts as the tuneís coda is absolutely gorgeous and moments like this, arrived at through improvised play that began well before either musician set foot in the studio, are something to savor. In ìTheory of Mind (For Joe)î the group is pared down to a trio with McPhee sitting out and the proceedings get hairier as Corsano grants a dry stroke to Amadoís clean, husky pirouettes and jounced burrs, soon anchored by Kesslerís choice harmonic anchor. The bassist is given an unaccompanied spot midway through the discís closing improvisation, ìHuman Behavior,î the hornsí metallic darts telepathically finding a shutoff valve before McPhee returns with tarnished declamations in the form of a few broad lines and colorfully-pursed swaths. This Is Our Language is a rugged and considered quartet date that begs the question: if Rodrigo Amado brings out some of his American matesí finest playing, why isnít he working on these shores more often?
by Clifford Allen, pointofdeparture.org
This Is Our Language is a high-energy sound eruption with Corsano, Portuguese tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado, Joe McPhee on pocket trumpet and alto saxophone and bassist Kent Kessler. The four press ahead with ferocity that makes the above album seem like a chamber trio. But thereís also discipline beside the ferocity. Corsanoís deliberate polyrhythms and Kesslerís propulsive thumps arenít even heard until the second track. Before that McPhee and Amado use their saxophones to tease out the undulating theme as if slowly unrolling a carpet. The formerís idiosyncratic style has developed over the years, but there are points of congruence with the latterís technique. Although more mellow in execution, as demonstrated on the introductory ìThe Primal Wordî, Amado is a pointillist, building up his solos in bites and slices until it jells into a gratifying whole. Perhaps because his initial instrument was trumpet, McPhee relies more on quick tonguing and repeated vibrations. Corsanoís aptitude is given its showcase on ìRitual Evolutionî: as the horn players splatter tones, he underscores the color scheme with rumbles from hands and brushes so as not to upset the scene. Later, as Kessler holds onto the beat, the drummer splashes out a tapestry of constantly undulating polyrhythms alongside him
by Ken Waxman, nycjazzrecords.com
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