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Luís Lopes' Humanization 4tet - Electricity

Phillip McNally, Cadence Magazine

The Humanization 4tet is based out of Lisbon. And on Electricity the guitar of Lopes and the tenor sax of Amado are so big that I swore this was a bigger ensemble. This is really a strong 4tet, with these two huge voices out front. Amado is becoming well known, as he should be. His is a rich voice on tenor, willing to go way way out and scream, but with a deep melodic sense. Lopes often enough uses chords on the amped guitar to create second horn sound, behind the tenor. Electricity is an unusual recording for the Swedish label Ayler, which usually issues Free improvisations filled with fire & brimstone, showing the inspiration of the label’s namesake. Perhaps it is the big brash invention of Amado that led to their interest in Electricity, but fans of Ayler Records will find this one surprisingly “inside” for their catalogue. This is no complaint, just a warning. Electricity is a fine recording, with some wild moments, but showing off the adventurous lyricism I’ve come to expect from the Portuguese scene. I would say that those Northern European darlings who’ve dominated the world of Jazz criticism for the better part of a decade now had better watch out. There is a new wind blowing out of the south, and Lisbon clearly has a lot to share.