Amaro Freitas


Psychic Hotline • 2024

What does rainforest jazz sound like? For his album »Y’Y«, Brazilian pianist Amaro Freitas from Recife took inspiration from the Amazon rainforest in Manaus. What he came back with sounds very different from the music on his previous albums »Rasif« and »Sankofa«, where he, as bandleader, was in dialogue with his fellow musicians. On »Y’Y« he is mostly in conversation with himself. On tracks like »Uira (Encantada da Água)«, he uses his instrument partly as a prepared piano, partly untreated, and layered as if four pianists were playing at once. On »Danca dos Martelos« he uses both the keys and the interior of the piano, surrounded by gently buzzing or rattling percussion and bird flute sounds. While he begins the album with more echoing piano passages, as the piece progresses he eventually ends the piece with his characteristic polyrhythmic or metrically condensed playing at a heightened energy level. The second side of the record adds various guests artists. The title track features Shabaka Hutchings on flute, later joined by guitarist Jeff Parker. Harpist Brandee Younger also makes an appearance, as does bassist Aniel Someillan and drummer Hamid Drake. Whether in dialogue with these fellow hand-picked Anglo-American musicians or completely alone, Freitas once again quietly expands his vocabulary. A flood of ideas has emerged. You just have to dive in.