This band, organized by Rodrigo Amado, matches the Lisbon-based tenor saxophonist with the senior multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee and a rhythm section composed of bassist Kent Kessler and drummer Chris Corsano. Whether McPhee is playing soprano saxophone or pocket trumpet, it’s a classic free jazz formation, with undeniable roots in the “change of the century” ushered in by Ornette Coleman. The first recording by this band, This Is Our Language (Not Two), was named Album of the Year for 2015 by the readers of this site. If it’s strongly traditioned, there’s nothing antique about the conception. Amado has an existential view of the improvisatory act, clearly articulated in a series of titles that includes Desire & Freedom and the present History of Nothing. His line bears a certain resemblance to Sonny Rollins in his most exploratory period, a big, flexible sound in which each note is lightly but deftly sculpted, never fussy, the inflection almost off-hand but necessary, as if that, too, is a mark of the rhythmic precision. There’s a resistance to excess.
RODRIGO AMADO, tenor saxophone JOE MCPHEE, pocket trumpet, soprano saxophone KENT KESSLER, double bass CHRIS CORSANO, drums
01. Legacies 02. A History of Nothing 03. Theory of Mind 04. Wild Flowers 05. The Hidden Desert