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Luís Lopes' Humanization 4tet - Electricity

Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

The quartet's 2008 self-titled debut was solid, but they demonstrated impressive growth on their second album, last year's Electricity (Ayler). The band is rounded out bassist Aaron Gonzalez and drummer Stefan Gonzalez, both sons of the great Dallas trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez. (They've come a long way since I caught them as teenagers at the Empty Bottle, backing their father, in September 2000.) The rhythm team gives the music a fierce energy without being overbearing. On the opener, "Dehumanization Blues," they're relentless, pushing Lopes to wring coruscating feedback from his guitar while Amado breathes fire with his tenor saxophone. "Procurei-te Na Noite" invokes the spirit of early James "Blood" Ulmer with a deliriously off-kilter rhythmic attack, while "Jungle Gymnastics," which you can hear below, delivers a high-octane steeplechase of jagged phrases, both in unison and splattery counterpoint, by the guitarist and saxophonist.