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Luís Lopes' Humanization 4tet - Live in Madison

Bruce Lee Galanter, Downtown Music gallery

Featuring Luis Lopes on electric guitar, Rodrigo Amado on tenor sax, Aaron Gonzalez on double bass and Stefan Gonzalez on drums. This disc was (well) recorded live in Madison, Wisconsin in July of 2011. Although this is the third disc by the Humanization 4tet, both Portuguese musicians (Lopes & Amado) have other projects/discs out as do the Gonzalez brothers who are members of Yells at Eels with their father Dennis as well as working with other fine players like Curtis Clark. While Luis (3), Rodrigo (1) and Aaron (1) all contribute compositions to this disc there is one cover of the classic song by Arthur Blythe called "Bush Baby" which opens this disc. "Bush Baby" features a rather funky groove with some sly, wah wah guitar from Luis and great tenor from Rodrigo. It has that fresh mid-seventies loft-jazz sound which still sounds great today by blending categories seamlessly, without regard to current trends. Both Luis on electric guitar and Rodrigo on tenor sax take a number of slamming solos throughout, filled with bent, barbed-wire spirits, twists and turns. "Jungle Gymnastics" is an appropriately titled song with is fast and furious and constantly shifting gears as it soars. Funk or punk/jazz?!? This does have some of that hybridization and unexpected changes in direction. Don't get me wrong, not all of this is over-the-top. "Long March for Frida Kahlo" does have a more relaxed and memorable melody which elps to balance the craziness somewhat. This quartet once played here at DMG a few years ago and were amazing. This disc does capture them on a particularly inspired evening. Strong medicine for troubled times.