Admittedly, I feel relieved when contemporary jazz is not “improved” by professorial liner notes. As historically indispensable as they may be, reading a writer’s impressions and remembrances combined with a plethora of archival references while attempting to decrypt the immediate messages can often be distracting, when not altogether misleading. The Freedom Principle‘s level of direct communication and acoustic trenchancy is proportional to the unostentatious posture of the participants. Operating their trades in the ambit of three extended episodes, the musicians sound forthrightly to the point, avoiding the kind of bootless inebriation that might have been dishonestly justified by choosing such a name for an album. This music lives in the moment, does not demand comparisons with the past.
The title track is also the lengthiest. Along barefaced discharges and synergistic explorations of irregularly swinging configurations, Amado and Evans can throw burning darts or seek reconciliation with the supreme authority of lucid verbiage. Agitated spurts never manage to transcend into vernacular blowouts; the quartet’s drive remains anchored in contrapuntal harbors defined by the total understandability of a collective purpose, even when frenetic velocities are employed. During “Shadows”, Miguel Mira’s arco bass generates countless harmonics as Gabriel Ferrandini utilizes the implicit components of drumming with commonsensical command. As the piece evolves, Evans and Amado resume an irredeemably miscreant behavior, quirky shrieking and coarse-grained blaring filling the remaining gaps. “Pepper Packed” concludes the set with the trumpeter as the most characteristic voice: first with a perspicuously idealistic solo, then — at the very end — via an amusingly “wahwah-ing” fixed tone altered by the mute. In between, Amado’s lyrical side — creative thinking and equanimity going hand in hand — does not detract from the group’s quiet dynamism, Mira and Ferrandini just perfect in emphasizing the overall pulse’s asymmetrical traits.