The Squid's Ear Magazine


Amado, Rodrigo / This Is Our Language Quartet: Let The Free Be Men (Trost Records)

Referencing Ornette Coleman in the group name, Portuguese tenor saxophonist engages three US free jazz players--legendary saxophonist and pocket trumpeter Joe McPhee, double bassist Kent Kessler and drummer Chris Corsano--for this 2017 concert at Jazzhouse in Copenhagen, Denmark, capturing four exemplary, at times explosive, and always tightly interactive collective improvisations.
 

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Personnel:



Rodrigo Amado-tenor saxophone

Joe McPhee-pocket trumpet, soprano saxophone, pvc pipe

Kent Kessler-double bass

Chris Corsano-drums


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UPC: 9120036683358

Label: Trost Records
Catalog ID: TROST 209CD
Squidco Product Code: 30482

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: Austria
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Jazzhouse, in Copenhagen, Denmark, on March 2nd, 2017, by Klaus Hedegaard Nielsen.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Music by four strong individual players with room for eruptive solo-parts, but always held together by intense communication and beautiful interwoven melodies. The quartet's second album A History Of Nothing (TROST 170CD/LP) got a huge number of excited reviews: "A superb quartet outing. The music is all improvised, but it's firmly rooted in jazz, with superb interaction between all of the players, both on ripping, high-velocity blowouts and more delicate forays." --Peter Margasak (Chicago Reader) "Freedom is clearly a responsibility as well as a joy, and it's emphasized here by the group's shared commitment: each musician is constantly working in two directions, stretching further and creating cohesion. The music is improvised with such an ear to complementary detail that it's literally being collectively composed."-Stuart Broomer, Free Jazz Collective



"Tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado has deep roots in modern and free jazz, but he is every inch a self-made man. Born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1964, he grew up in a time when his country was on the periphery of such activities; the rich and varied community of improvisers that his country currently supports didn't really cohere until the turn of the century, and he's part of the generation that has made it happen. So, it makes sense that while Amado sustains groups with his compatriots, he's also instituted this band of Americans, since that's where the music came from, and given it a name that mirrors that of the music's foundational albums - Ornette Coleman's This Is Our Music.

Let The Free Be Men was recorded three days before its predecessor, A History of Nothing, during a tour of Europe that allowed Amado, drummer Chris Corsano, bassist Kent Kessler, and multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee (here playing pocket trumpet, soprano saxophone, and a PVC pipe wielded like a digeridoo) to hone their interaction to a fine edge. For while each musician represents a different generation, and they have played in some pretty dissimilar settings away from this one, they're united in their commitment to promoting intensity and invention on the bandstand. The album's opener, "Resist!," drops the listener into the middle of action that's already been brewing. It builds from a restless drum solo to a rhythmic funnel cloud, which clears way for the horns to step in and build something too mutually supportive to be characterized as an exchange. Next comes the title track, a sequence of contrasting timbres. By turns rough and melancholy, it affirms the emotional gravity of vintage fire music without sounding much like it.

Amado may have his name at the front of the band, but one suspects that he's selected these musicians for the ways they can push him. Gruff and agile, he rides their vectors of influence like an ocean bird wheeling from one updraft to the next. Whether he's broadcasting vast shockwaves or bringing things down to a fine point succinct lyricism, Kessler invests the music with solemnity and texture. Corsano is restless, forever finding new angles from which to give the action a shove. And McPhee can be relied upon to pick the one sound that'll bring the music into focus, and make the moment feel ultra-real. They've got a language, all right; here's hoping that as we move into COVID's after-times, there's more opportunity for them to develop it."-Bill Meyer, Dusted Magazine

Also available on vinyl LP.

Artist Biographies

"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 is handled in other genres, although his work with his various ensembles like the Lisbon Improvisation Players and the Motion Trio (with Miguel Mira and Gabriel Ferrandini) falls clearly under the umbrella of 21st century jazz, and he has been an in-demand studio player on numerous recorded projects. He started his own label, Clean Feed, in 2001, with brothers Pedro and Carlos Costa, before leaving the imprint in 2005 to start a second label, European Echoes. Also an accomplished professional photographer, Amado continues to be a bright light on the Portuguese and international improvisational jazz scene."

-All Music, Steve Leggett (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/rodrigo-amado-mn0000249324/biography)
2/26/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Joe McPhee, born November 3,1939 in Miami, Florida, USA, is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, conceptualist and theoretician. He began playing the trumpet at age eight, taught by his father, himself a trumpet player. He continued on that instrument through his formative school years and later in a U.S. Army band stationed in Germany, at which time he was introduced to performing traditional jazz. Clifford Thornton's Freedom and Unity, released in 1969 on the Third World label, is the first recording on which he appears as a side man. In 1968, inspired by the music of Albert Ayler, he took up the saxophone and began an active involvement in both acoustic and electronic music.

His first recordings as leader appeared on the CJ Records label, founded in 1969 by painter Craig Johnson. These include Underground Railroad by the Joe McPhee Quartet (1969), Nation Time (1970), Trinity (1971) and Pieces of Light (1974). In 1975, Swiss entrepreneur Werner X. Uehlinger release Black Magic Man by McPhee, on what was to become Hat Hut Records.

In 1981, he met composer, accordionist, performer, and educator Pauline Oliveros, whose theories of "deep listening" strengthened his interests in extended instrumental and electronic techniques. he also discovered Edward de Bono's book Lateral Thinking: A Textbook of Creativity, which presents concepts for solving problems by "disrupting an apparent sequence and arriving at the solution from another angle." de Bono's theories inspired McPhee to apply this "sideways thinking" to his own work in creative improvisation, resulting in the concept of "Po Music." McPhee describes "Po Music" as a "process of provocation" (Po is a language indicator to show that provocation is being used) to "move from one fixed set of ideas in an attempt to discover new ones." He concludes, "It is a Positive, Possible, Poetic Hypothesis." The results of this application of Po principles to creative improvisation can be heard on several Hat Art recordings, including Topology, Linear B, and Oleo & a Future Retrospective.

In 1997, McPhee discovered two like-minded improvisers in bassist Dominic Duval and drummer Jay Rosen. The trio premiered at the Vision Jazz Festival in 1998 but the concert went unnoticed by the press. McPhee, Duval, and Rosen therefore decided that an apt title for the group would be Trio X. In 2004 he created Survival Unit III with Fred Lonberg-Holm and Michael Zerang to expand his musical horizons and with a career spanning nearly 50 years and over 100 recordings, he continues to tour internationally, forge new connections while reaching for music's outer limits."

-Joe McPhee Website (http://joemcphee.com/bio.html)
2/26/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Kent Kessler (born January 28, 1957 in Crawfordsville, Indiana) is an American jazz double-bassist, best known for his work in the Chicago avant-garde jazz scene.

Kessler, born in Crawfordsville, Indiana, grew up on Cape Cod and began playing trombone at age ten. He and his family moved to Chicago when he was 13, and a few years later Kessler became intensely interested in jazz. While attending St. Mary Center for Learning High School, he began taking lessons from Kestutis Stanciauskas (Streetdancer) in electric bass and jazz theory in the middle of the 1970s. In 1977 he formed the ensemble Neutrino Orchestra with percussionist Michael Zerang and guitarists Dan Scanlan and Norbert Funk. He spent three months in Brazil during 1980-81 and spent time studying intermittently at Roosevelt University in Chicago; he and Zerang also formed a group called Musica Menta, which played regularly at Link's Hall.

Kessler began playing double bass in the 1980s and it became his primary instrument when he was asked in 1985 to join the NRG Ensemble, who toured Europe and recorded for ECM Records under the leadership of Hal Russell until his death in 1992. In 1991, he gigged with Zerang and guitarist Chris DeChiara; in need of a hornist, they called Ken Vandermark, who had been considering leaving the Chicago scene. Kessler and Vandermark would go on to collaborate extensively on free jazz and improvisational projects such as the Vandermark 5, the DKV Trio and the Steelwool Trio. In the 1990s and afterwards he worked with Chicago musicians such as Hamid Drake, Fred Anderson, and Joe McPhee, and also with European musicians such as Peter Brötzmann, Mats Gustafsson, Misha Mengelberg, and Luc Houtkamp.

In 2003, Kessler released a solo album, Bull Fiddle, on Okka Disk. Kessler performs alone on nine of the twelve tracks, and with Michael Zerang on three."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_Kessler)
2/26/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"First spellbound by freely improvised music in the mid-1990s after witnessing performances by TEST, William Parker, Cecil Taylor, and others, Chris Corsano began a long-standing, high-energy partnership with Paul Flaherty in 1998. A move from western Massachusetts to the UK in 2005 led Corsano to develop an expanded solo music of his own, incorporating sax reeds, violin strings and bows, pot lids, and other everyday household items into his drum kit. In February 2006 he released his first solo recording, The Young Cricketer, and toured extensively throughout Europe, USA, and Japan. He spent 2007 and '08 as the drummer on Björk's Volta world tour, all the while weaving in shows and recordings on his days off with the likes of Evan Parker, Virginia Genta, and C. Spencer Yeh. Moving back to the U.S. in 2009, Corsano returned focus to his own projects, most notably a duo with Michael Flower, Rangda (with Sir Richard Bishop and Ben Chasny) and solo work, now revamped to include synthesizers and contact microphones in addition to his drum set and home-made acoustic instruments.

In addition to the those mentioned above, he's also worked with, among others: John Edwards (released by: Clean Feed/Dancing Wayang), Jim O'Rourke & Akira Sakata (Drag City/Family Vineyard), Paul Dunmall (ESP-Disk), Nels Cline (Strange Attractors), Jessica Rylan (Load Records), Jandek (Corwood), Sunburned Hand Of Man (Manhand), MV&EE (Eclipse/Time-Lag), Vampire Belt (Open Mouth), Joe McPhee (Roaratorio), and Wally Shoup (Leo/Columbia Japan)."

-Chris Corsano Website (http://www.cor-sano.com/bio.html)
2/26/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Resist 10:14

2. Let The Free Be Men 13:17

3. Men Is Woman Is Man 7:42

4. Never Surrender 13:06

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Quartet Recordings
Collective Free Improvsation
Joe McPhee
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