Monday, February 25, 2008

Tony Malaby – Tamarindo (Clean Feed, 2008)

Tamarindo is a very good album of quasi free jazz with a mix of full-bore burners and abstract, spacier pieces. Malaby plays tenor and soprano saxophones and he is joined by the peerless rhythm team of William Parker on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums. Without piano or guitar, the music takes on a wide open and spacious feel that is beneficial to the music these men are making. “Buried Head” leads off the album with a sketchy opening, quiet and probing, but slowly it ramps up the momentum with the tempo and intensity culminating in a maelstrom of swirling saxophone backed by throbbing bass and drums. “Floral and Herbacious” has some strong tenor saxophone and ominous bowed bass leading to a deeply intense and flavorful improvisation. “La Mariposa” starts slow with bass and swirling soprano over solemn bass and drums, in a performance recalling Steve Lacy. The title cut “Tamarindo” starts out with solo saxophone before the bass and drums kick in building the proceedings to a critical mass of intense three-way conversation. “Mother's Love” a slow and thoughtful performance, which features ear-splitting high end soprano saxophone and cello-like bowed bass over discreet mallet drumming. “Floating Head” rounds out the disc with a fast paced trio improvisation, well communicated between band members and very exciting. This is a really extraordinary trio that has made an outstanding record. Anyone interested in open ended acoustic jazz is highly encouraged to check it out.

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