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Monday, May 15, 2017

Gonçalo Almeida / Rodrigo Amado / Marco Franco - The Attic (NoBusiness / Tombed Visions, 2017) ****

By Eyal Hareuveni

The Attic documents a live performance of an ad-hoc trio of three prolific Portuguese musicians working in the greater field of free jazz - double bass player Gonçalo Almeida, known from the LAMA and Albatre trios, the Tetterapadequ quartet and the Spinifex quintet, tenor sax player Rodrigo Amado, leader of the Motion Trio and the international This Is Our Language quartet (with Joe McPhee, Kent Kessler and Chris Corsano), and drummer Marco Franco, known from trumpeter Luis Vicente’s Clocks and Clouds quartet. The trio was recorded at the SMUP, in Lisbon’s suburb Parede on December 2015.

This ad-hoc meeting of these strong-minded musicians radiates a raw immediacy and also a strong affinity. The sense of freshness charges this meeting with a sense of danger and the liberty of taking chances and accordingly all five pieces flow but not in a linear manner. Still, the three musicians always opt for a highly collaborative and supportive interplay without asserting clear leading roles. In a way, this trio actually applies - literally - Amado’s prescriptions for his own Motion Trio, as were the titles of the pieces of its latest release: “Freedom is a Two-Edged Sword”, “Liberty” and “Responsibility” (Desire & Freedom, Not Two, 2016).

Almeida opens the performance with a commanding arco solo on “Shadow”. Amado later stresses the harmonic development suggested by Almeida with charismatic emotional calls, while Franco solidifies the rhythmic basis with subtle colors and all three together build to a powerful spiritual ritual. The following “Hole” is free-associative improvisation that avoids settling on a pulse or a clear narrative, but still moves in a tight and intense interplay. The sparse and lyrical “Spring” emphasizes, even more, the versatility of this trio as it shifts quickly between simple melodic motifs and pulses. The longest piece, the 16-minutes “Board” is structured as a classic, fiery, free jazz piece, spiraling patiently around a playful, muscular pulse that becomes more intense, stronger and ecstatic as the song progresses. The last, and shortest, piece “Nail” deepens the trio collective rhythmic interplay with a manic, Ayler-ian blow-out that brings to mind the sheer, boundless energy of outfits like those of Peter Brötzmann or The Thing.


Dom Minasi said...

enjoying the music...

Stef said...

A really strong trio - very captivating throughout.