Rodrigo Amado

tenor saxophone

Rodrigo Amado

photo by Antonio Julio Duarte

For Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado, improvisation isn’t only a process of making music, but an end in itself and a cause he pursues with great passion. His long span project Lisbon Improvisation Players and other groups he formed with, for instance, Ken Filiano, Steve Adams, Dennis Gonzalez, Carlos Zíngaro, Kent Kessler, Paal Nilssen-Love, Miguel Mira or Gabriel Ferrandini, all share the same method of opening the concept of real-time composition to as many perspectives as possible.

With one foot in modern jazz and the other in free improvisation, what he likes most is to play in the jazz idiom, without any tunes or preconceived structures, but forging a work of strong structure, clear direction and deep meaning, in real-time. So, his improvisation, although not free in formal terms, is free anyhow in its strategies and in the open spectrum of possibilities it offers musicians working with him. And that ambiguity is what interests him.

Born in Lisbon in 1964, he studied saxophone since he was 17 years old. Since then, he developed an intense activity focused mainly on the Jazz and Improvised music fields. Studied briefly at the Hot Clube Music School of Lisbon and had private lessons with some of the leading jazz players in Portugal, namely Carlos Martins, Jorge Reis and Pedro Madaleno.

Some of the musicians he played or recorded with: Lou Grassi, Steve Swell, Herb Robertson, Lisle Ellis, Taylor Ho Bynum, John Hebert, Gerald Cleaver, Luis Lopes, Aaron Gonzalez, Stefan Gonzalez, Paul Dunmall, Raymond Strid, Sten Sandell, Per Zanussi, Adam Lane, Joe Giardullo, Harris Eisenstadt, Tomas Ulrich, Alex Cline, Bobby Bradford, Vinny Golia, Dominic Duval, Mike Bisio, Scott Fields, Daniel Carter, Federico Ughi, Chris Jonas, Michael Thompson, Wade Matthews, Gail Brand, Michael Attias, Andrew Drury, Sture Erikson, Rachim Ausar Sahu, Per-Ake Holmlander, Jan Roder, Elliott Levin, Mark Whitecage, Peter Epstein, Greg Moore, Phill Niblock, João Paulo Esteves da Silva, Sei Miguel, Rafael Toral, Manuel Mota, Ernesto Rodrigues, DJ Ride, Carlos Barretto, Ulrich Mitzlaff or Nuno Rebelo, among many others.

In September 2001, Amado joined brothers Pedro and Carlos Costa to start the label Clean Feed, totally devoted to record creative contemporary jazz and improvised music. Very quickly, Clean Feed found itself at the vortex of the international creative jazz scene, releasing projects that reached far beyond what was initially imagined. In 2005, Amado left the company and started his own label, “European Echoes”, focusing mostly in his own work. Since then, he is spending more and more time with his own projects, with music and photography. He also writes on a regular basis for one of the most prestigious Portuguese newspapers, Jornal Público.

He leads the projects Lisbon Improvisation Players and his Motion Trio with Miguel Mira and Gabriel Ferrandini, and tries to mantain regular collaborations with his other projects; the trio with Kessler and Nilssen-Love, the trio with Zíngaro and Filiano, and the quartet with Taylor Ho Bynum, John Hebert and Gerald Cleaver.


Source - All About Jazz

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Recordings featuring Rodrigo Amado