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Luís Lopes' Humanization 4tet - Live in Madison

Grego Edwards, Gapplegate Guitar Blog

If you want to wake yourself up, you'd do well to check out the recent album by the Luis Lopes Humanization Quartet, Live in Madison (Ayler 134). It's a very hot quartet, in some ways an offshoot of Dennis Gonzalez's Yells at Eels band (more on that later this week). This quartet takes no prisoners, in that it is blazing a path of fire where it will and you get into it because you want some of that heat in your world, or that's what I am feeling anyway.

The mix of players is excellent. Two Portuguese heavies and the Gonzalez brothers from down Texas way. Luis Lopes leads the band and brings in three abstract-concrete compositions. He shows you what he's made of on electric guitar--fire and dry ice, blazing electric outness, inferno-maelstroms of sound.

His front-line partner is the always hot Rodrigo Amado on tenor (and one composition)--who sounds brilliant as he always seems to, getting that great big tenor sound and putting something on every note he plays. Like a master spitball pitcher, he starts in one place and then there is action you cannot predict but it ends in another not-always-expected end point. The combination of Rodrigo and Luis is as potent as any one-two punch around and they show why very convincingly here.

Then there are the Gonzalez brothers, sons of Dennis Gonzalez and becoming one of the hippest and most capable rhythm teams around today. Aaron is the world class bassist that gets the ostinatos into cruising mode with a big fat sound, can walk and solo with real authority and does here. He also contributes one of the compositions. Stefan combines hard-hitting strength with great chops for a busy swinging sound perfect to launch this quartet into outer space.

This is all about the four together in smoking space-mode. But it is also about the very together advanced playing of each individually. All of them are at the top as players with what is going on in advanced jazz with a rock edge. In tandem they are unbeatable.

In any way you care to look at this one, it's a big winner. It has the torque of rock, the unpredictability of outness and some really great improvisations and compositional launching points.

Get this!