Rodrigo Amado

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Rodrigo Amado the Bridge

Watch them in concert at Bimhuis Amsterdam.

Rodrigo Amado – tenor saxophone
Alexander Von Schlippenbach – piano
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten – bass
Gerry Hemingway – drums

Widely considered as one of the most important European improvisers currently on the scene, in this quartet Amado gathers three of his strongest longtime influences, three leaders in their own right: German master pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach, Norwegian double bass wizard Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and legendary American drummer Gerry Hemingway. 

For Amado this new band represents a deep dive into his own formative roots, something he has been dealing with more and more in these last few years. With Schlippenbach, Håker Flaten and Hemingway by his side, Amado has the perfect context to explore the classic materials he considers to be the basis of his journey as a musician, an impulse that is part him and part history. As US critic Stuart Broomer wrote: “Amado is an emerging master of a great tradition, more apparent with each new recording or performance.”

This is a quartet whose name really represents, aside from a direct homage to Sonny Rollins, a bridge between different languages, backgrounds and generations, all united through improvisation.

The Attic

photo by Geert Vandepoele


Rodrigo Amado – tenor saxophone
Gonçalo Almeida – double bass
Onno Govaert – drums

Originally the meeting between Gonçalo Almeida, Rodrigo Amado and Marco Franco, three influential figures of the Portuguese improvised music scene, The Attic has evolved to include Dutch drummer Onno Govaert, a crucial member of the Amsterdam jazz scene and part of the youngest generation of European improvised music. Together, they recorded the second album of the Attic, Summer Bummer, live in Antwerp, and released Love Ghosts in 2022 (both on No Business records).

All About Jazz concluded that, “while Amado will no doubt continue to find willing partners among his fellow avant-garde luminaries, his trio recordings offer the most complete glimpse of his prowess, and Love Ghosts could be his best yet.” 

Set between free jazz, improvisation and real time composition, the music recovers different elements from the jazz tradition, reconfiguring them in vibrant in-the-moment improvised songs, building and developing a fluid dialogue between the three musicians. 

Listen here!

Rodrigo Amado This is Our Language 4tet

photo by Eckhart Derschmidt
photo by Eckhart Derschmidt

Rodrigo Amado – tenor saxophone
Joe McPhee – saxophone, pocket trumpet
Kent Kessler – double bass
Chris Corsano – drums


This quartet, one of Rodrigo Amado’s pivotal projects, unites the Portuguese saxophonist with legendary horn player Joe McPhee, Chicago double-bassist Kent Kessler and young drum star Chris Corsano. Together they are taking Amado’s credo to “compose in real time” to new heights, bringing the universes of free improvisation and composed jazz closer together.

This is music by four strong individual players with room for eruptive solo-parts, but always held together by intense communication and interwoven with beautiful melodies. The quartet’s third album Let the Free be Men (Trost records 2021) got a big number of excited reviews. 
“No matter how spontaneous the response is, no matter how rich and ingenious the language used is; it is above all the warm-blooded and almost sensual decisiveness that underlines here that this quartet constantly plays with a clenched fist that is timeless.” – Guy Peters / Enola

“Rodrigo Amado adds another stunning entry to his discography with the third album from his This Is Our Language Quartet. The resultant blend of spontaneous free jazz is, by turns, refined, beautiful, exhilarating, heart-rending and belligerent… one of the finest bands around.” – John Sharpe / All About Jazz

“If you are not hip to Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado, where, as they say, have you been?” – Mark Corroto / All about Jazz

“On the furious opening track, “Resist!”, Amado’s immensely strong tenor dominates the ensemble, followed by McPhee’s querulous, distinctive tone on soprano; the track ends at a level of intensity rarely found even in free jazz.” – Andy Hamilton / The Wire

This is Our Language (2015, Not Two)
A History of Nothing (2018, Trost records)
Let the Free be Men (2021, Trost records)


Concerts of Rodrigo Amado | Photos of Rodrigo Amado | Press about Rodrigo Amado