Rodrigo Amado, one of the label’s favourite saxophone players, makes his debut on Tombed Visions and the cassette format with two highly skilled and prolific collaborators, double bassist Goncalo Almeida and drummer Marco Franco, for a soul searing set of passionate and spiritual enriching improvisations. It is the deep emotiveness is the trio’s playing that makes The Attic immediately stand out, its vitality, its range and its ability to channel the spirit those ground breaking recordings made in the heyday of the Jazz avant-garde, full of musical colour and raw energy that makes this one of the proudest editions to the label’s catalogue. Astonishing music made by astonishing players.
"A masterful concert of freely improvised creative jazz performed live at SMUP, Parede, in Lisboa, Portugal in 2015 by the trio of saxophonist Rodrigo Amado, double bassist Goncalo Almeida, and drummer Marco Franco, in a great dialog of skill and control that simmers without frenetic excess, leaving room for unique textural and introspective moments."
""Portugal’s avant-jazz scene continues to surprise and delight. Recorded in the loft space at SMUP, a pioneering arts venue in the Lisbon satellite of Paredes, The Attic brings together three of the country’s finest improvising musicians: bassist Gonçalo Almeida, tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado, and drummer Marco Franco. Amado’s star is on the rise, following 2015’s excellent This Is Our Language with Joe McPhee, Kent Kessler and Chris Corsano, and last year’s superb offering from his own Motion Trio. He’s a generous collaborator, and The Attic is as much Almeida and Franco’s show, with the bassist’s elegant and powerful playing often setting the scene.
‘Shadow’ opens with a beautiful bowed solo. Playing in the instrument’s higher register, Almeida teases out elegant melodic phrases, shaded with darker double stops. There’s a beautiful clarity and light to this piece, with its modal harmonies giving rise to lines that remind me at times of European folk forms and minimalism. Amado plays the tenor in a pinched altissimo that sounds uncannily like a stopped trumpet, but for the fluidity of the steps, adding to music’s heightened sense of otherness. By the end, he’s making like Pharoah Sanders at his most blissful, giving a spiritual jazz sermon from some holy mountain.
If Franco is a subtle presence on the quieter tracks, his colouristic approach takes on a fauvist intensity on ‘Board’, where he scurries around the kit, firing off short fills and accents over a free pulse. Combined with Almeida’s rock solid bass strut, it gives the music a non-linear momentum, so it breathes and flexes, rather than tearing off in a single direction. ‘Nail’ comes in hard, with Amado blowing in a classic free jazz style over Almeida’s dark and woody bass. Franco’s drums crash, rumble and splash, but his light touch ensures each hit lands with a gymnast’s agility, rather than a blunt force. Amado alternates between high, strangulated tones and guttural honks, filling the gaps with cheeky staccato triplets. Yet while some saxophonists would deliver such sounds with macho volume and blare, Amado plays them with a subtler, rounded tone. He’s authoritative but never domineering, serving the collective improvisation."
- Stewart Smith, The Quietus
"It was the last concert of 2015 in SMUP, the space in the Wall, municipality of Cascais, which has become one of the most important centers of creative jazz and improvised music that are practiced in Portugal. A few days after Christmas (December 22), Dutch-born bass player Gonçalo Almeida returned to his country to debut Rodrigo Amado (tenor saxophone) and Marco Franco (drums) on the occasion. Height, it was not known if there would be follow-up. The attic of the SMUP was at the wedge and the music surpassed all the expectations: it is the record of this event that is here in disc, left by one of the most important publishers of the present time in this area, Lithuanian NoBusiness Records.
Almeida, Amado and Franco are very different musicians. The first one has developed its route between jazzcore (name that refers to the bridges with punk and the metal, cases of the groups Albatre and Spinifex), the jazz of chamber (Lama) and the free improvisation (collaborations, for example, with Tobias Klein), the saxophonist is known for his hard-core freestyle jazz, Motion Trio, Wire Quartet forms, or his associations with musicians such as Joe McPhee, Kent Kessler and Chris Corsano, and the drummer has a widespread presence On several fronts, from "mainstream" jazz (Rui Caetano Trio) to "indie" rock (Memória de Peixe), going through projects characterized by the unusual nature of their concepts, such as the Mikado Lab, or experimental improvisation approach. His duo with Nuno Rebelo. What comes in the five tracks of this CD goes from the introspective to the visceral, in a wide range of approaches that counts, on the one hand, with an almost bucolic introduction of contrabass, in harmonics exploration, and on the other with explosions of energy overflying by a Sax tenor in "stream-of-consciousness". Variations from one end to the other happen in minutes, the outcomes never being predictable. The three musicians were on fire, motivated by the process of discovering a common language they had begun, and the music - magnificent, sweeping - reflects that. Disc of the year, no doubt. And on the other with explosions of energy flying over a stream-of-consciousness tenor sax. Variations from one end to the other happen in minutes, the outcomes never being predictable. The three musicians were on fire, motivated by the process of discovering a common language they had begun, and the music - magnificent, sweeping - reflects that. Disc of the year, no doubt. And on the other with explosions of energy flying over a stream-of-consciousness tenor sax. Variations from one end to the other happen in minutes, the outcomes never being predictable. The three musicians were on fire, motivated by the process of discovering a common language they had begun, and the music - magnificent, sweeping - reflects that. Disc of the year, no doubt."
- Rui Eduardo Paes, Jazz.pt
released April 19, 2017
Gonçalo Almeida – double bass
Rodrigo Amado – tenor saxophone
Marco Franco - drums
All compositions by Almeida / Amado / Franco
Recorded live by Luís Candeias at SMUP, Parede, December 22nd, 2015
Mixed by Gonçalo Almeida
Mastered by Marcelo dos Reis
Produced by Gonçalo Almeida and Rodrigo Amado
Executive production by Danas Mikailionis
Cover and Inlay Photos by Nuno Martins
Design by Lewis McLean
Special thanks to Nuno Martins, Marcelo dos Reis, Pedro Costa and all the SMUP crew.
This session is also released on CD by NoBusiness nobusinessrecords.com