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Album Review

Tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby's debut as a leader ventures deep into the avant-garde but stays in contact with the sensibilities of mainstream jazz. With Marc Ducret on guitar, Michael Formanek on bass, and Tom Rainey on drums, Malaby has chosen players remarkably well suited to his fairly aggressive compositional and playing style. Much like Bill Frisell and Ben Monder, Ducret provides colorful, reverberating chordal and single-note textures but can also turn on a dime and blast off with fuzztone solos and noise-guitar pyrotechnics. Formanek and Rainey make for a simpatico rhythm section if there ever was one; both steeped in post-bop vocabulary, they're equally able to step well outside of it. And Malaby, a whirlwind of tonal and rhythmic intensity, lets listeners have it with multiphonic flurries and screams held together with tightly executed melodic lines. His compositions tend toward rubato, tension-filled themes such as "Mia" and "Remolino/Hamza." But the title track, a lyrical waltz, shows another side, as do "Cosas" and the closing ballad "Love Dogs." The loping Latin-rock opener, "Ajo Comino," features some of Malaby's most achingly urgent yet accessible playing.

There's a slight Spanish tinge to many of the melodies, reflecting Malaby's Mexican-American heritage and imbuing the album with a highly unique mood. ~ David R. Adler, Rovi


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Influenced by artists ranging from John Coltrane and Archie Shepp to Roscoe Mitchell (among others), Tony Malaby is a probing tenor saxophonist who is comfortable with both inside and outside playing. Some of Malaby's work has been very avant-garde and left of center, although he has had no problem playing more mainstream post-bop. The saxman was born in Tucson, AZ, in 1964 and grew up in that southwestern city; Malaby made his first trip to New York in 1990, when he was attending William Paterson...
Full Bio
Sabino, Tony Malaby
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Oct 17, 2000

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