Burning Live At Jazz Ao Centro (JACC Records; 2012)
Jeb Bishop (trombone)
Miguel Mira (cello)
Gabriel Ferrandini (drums)
A brief set but long in the compositional sense, Burning Live At Jazz Ao Centro, sees Rodrigo Amado in blistering form. This is a fierce recording of a live event that was probably exciting and very intense on concentration.
This group consists of Amado's Motion Trio augmented by trombonist Jeb Bishop (known not only for his own groups as well as his work with Ken Vandermark). For this live evening, Bishop provides strong, bold muscular lines that challenge the rest of the trio. "Burning Live" is just as it says--a fiery opener that later rounds into a rhythmic pattern that hovers almost blues-like thanks to Bishop. Ferrandini adds the abstract passages against Bishop's notes as both Amado and Mira quietly begin to re-emerge and set the piece aflame again. The quartet finally comes resting with calm clashes but still a heavy spirit.
"Imaginary Caverns" moves like a ballad but with the philosophy of free association. Quiet motifs soon rise and fall with Amado and Ferrandini's perspective on the harmonics. Midway through Amado's tone becomes a scorching mixture of Ornette Coleman/Albert Ayler. It's intense and beautiful but not for every ear. Bishop, Mira and Ferrandini beam with solid atonal exchanges that drain you until just the right moment when Amado returns to add some toppling hues to the closing bars.
Rounding out the evening is "Red Halo," led by Mira sounding fully focused and moving the group in a calm fashion toward the inevitable wall of sound. Mira's pace quickens while Amado and Bishop's dialogue starts to sound like one instrument. The quartet finally roll into one another in the final moments bringing an intense jubilant session to its logical yet bewitching end.
Truly, an absorbing performance and another very creative outing for Rodrigo Amado. There are only a handful of saxophonists on the European scene today that are as acute and descriptive as Amado. Burning Live At Jazz Ao Centro is a perfect example as to why. This same group will also have a new studio album out on Not Two later this year.