Thursday, September 8, 2022

Rodrigo Amado, Northern Liberties


The world during the height of the pandemic hung in suspension. Things arrived more later than sooner. The response was the same at times. So this reviewer finds he is catching up with some very good things now. Rodrigo Amado's 2017 session Northern Liberties (Not Two Records MW 1016-2), which came out last year, was inexplicably buried in piles for a time. A thorough sorting unearthed it and it turned out to be timeless, ever at the vivid listening point for my sound fare regardless of season or time.

The album centers on four rough-and-ready collective improvisations by Amado on tenor, Thomas Johansson on trumpet, Jon Rune Strom on doublebass, and Gard Nilssen on drums. It is a very mutually simpatico band where Amado stands out quite naturally but the four of them have an ideal give and take throughout. Everyone has their say in the end. It is what a collectivity should be to my mind. This is some seminal free jazz expression, a happy confluence anyone who loves open free blowing will no doubt embrace.

It is classic avant expression, a torrid wash of freetime energy blowing following in the footsteps of Ayler, Ornette, late Trane and such, with some of Rodrigo's most excellent presencing on disk. He affirms once again his stature as a tenor of true importance on today's scene. Get this!

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