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Customer Reviews

The most consistently exciting saxists to emerge from the Southern Europe

The Clean Feed label has had a longtime relationship with Portuguese saxist Rodrigo Amado for a very good reason. Each of Ridrigo's previous half dozen discs on Clean Feed or his own European Echoes label have been gems worth savoring. Mr. Amado is simply one of the best and most consistently exciting saxists to emerge from the Southern region of Europe over the past decade. Rodrigo has also collaborated with Dennis Gonzalez & his sons and they all have played here at DMG on a couple of great occasions. For this disc Mr. Amado has chosen three of downtown finest musicians: Taylor Ho Bynum, John Hebert and Gerald Cleaver. Five of the six pieces here are improvised with one piece featuring a drum solo from Mr. Cleaver. Right from the gitgo of "Newman's Informer", the quartet erupts with burning baritone from Rodrigo, smoking cornet from Taylor and a most impressive flurry of tight activity from one of the finest rhythm teams assembled. Wow, what incredible energy, creativity and power!?! While Rodrigo slowly bends notes into different shapes, Taylor creates a series of interconnected notes which fill in just about every space that Rodrigo leaves between his notes. There is improvised that is very good and then there is improvised music that moves into the other realm of greatness or that cosmic connection. While sitting back and listening to this, it all came together as that indescribable magic appeared and took over. This piece starts solemnly with haunting baritone sax, somber bass and eerie cornet flutters, slowly building from there. The piece develops organically with a long, strong duet of bari & cornet that turns into an impressive quartet. What is great about this quartet is the way each members brings something special to the proceedings and helps in the direction or connections. John Hebert & Gerald Cleaver have worked together on a number of sessions and consistently sound great together, knowing when to increase or decrease the tempo or dynamics as well as as when to just lay out. "Pick Up Spot" is a short yet vibrant drum solo from Mr. Cleaver that connects two other spirited sections just right. I am not sure who the Adam of the CD title is that they are searching for, but I am sure that their search has lead them & us to a great place. Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery)
What a band! And what music! Rodrigo Amado on tenor and baritone, Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet and flugelhorn, John Hébert on bass, and Gerald Cleaver on drums, four musicians whom I've come to appreciate over the years and who all four stand for creative inventiveness. Here, they come together for the first time, playing the great music of possibilities, but doing so with a very precise voice : you have rhythm throughout, powerfully delivered by bass and drums, not melody per se, but combined lyricism and interaction is what the horns bring. In that sense the tradition of the jazz line-up is respected, but not necessarily musically. Although the second piece starts with a slow Amado solo, that with its warm and round tone, could well come from jazz in the fifties, but Taylor Ho Bynum's staccato outbursts pierce through this, adding edgy sounds and counterbalance. Interestingly, they keep this strange dialogue going, with bass and drums slightly increasing the tempo into a kind of lightfooted dance, slowly evolving into a more meditative piece of stretched sax notes and muted cornet, all sensitive and subtle, then ending in absolute frenzy. The third piece starts slowly, yet quite rapidly it becomes more agitated with again Cleaver and Hébert laying down a great rhythmic pulse for the short blasts of the horns. You also get a staggering - yet somewhat lost in the overall concept - three minute drum solo by Cleaver.The highlight is the last piece, which takes you along on a journey through jazz, with boppish episodes, bluesy moments, absolute avant-garde, yet ending with incredible beauty and restraint, deep and warm. What you get is jazz, strong emotionally powerful jazz, very warm and welcoming, yet utterly free in its delivery. This is without a doubt the best musical result I've heard from Amado so far, full of paradoxes between old and new, between lyricism and abstraction, between the familiar and adventure, between sensitivity and rawness. Highly recommended! (stef, reejazz-stef.blogspot.)


Born: 1964 in Lisbon, Portugal

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Portuguese saxophonist (alto, C melody, baritone, and tenor) Rodrigo Amado specializes in free-form, composition-in-the-moment jazz, and his various projects and trios have given him an international following. Born in Lisbon in 1964, Amado began studying the sax at the age of 17, briefly at the Hot Club Music School of Lisbon and with mentors Carlos Martins, Pedro Madaleno, and Jorge Reis, among other leading Portuguese jazz artists. With diverse musical interests, he explored how improvisation...
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Searching For Adam, Rodrigo Amado
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