Reviews that mention Tony Malaby

May 15, 2022

Tony Malaby’s Sabino

The Cave of Winds
Pyroclastic Records PR 18

Otok

Cabrioles célébrales et accidents psychotiques

LFDS Records LFDS 016

Balancing the textures from saxophone, guitar, bass and drums are these well-focused and rhythmically sophisticated quartet sessions from the US and France. Evolving with the same high quality, the chief difference is that Sabino almost exclusively features compositions by leader tenor and soprano saxophonist Tony Malaby, while the French Otok contingent, all members of Le Fondeur de Son artistic collective, work in the field of pure improvisation. MORE

January 1, 2022

Nick Fraser Quartet

If There Were No Opposites
ezz-thetics CD 1034

Gjerstad/Lonberg-Holm/Parker/Swell

Tales From

Fundacja Sluchaj FSR 18.2020

Using the distinctive timbres of a cello as part of an improvised music session can often be rewarding because of the string instrument’s versatility. Prominent as part of the front line or in the rhythm section, its ultimate role depends on the flexibility of the player and the group in which is situated. Fortunately, the cellists featured here are as adaptable as are both bands. MORE

May 20, 2020

Jeff Davis

The Fastness
Fresh Sound New Talent Records FSNT 590

Epitome of contemporary New York Jazz is The Fastness designed to highlight the compositional and playing talents of drummer Jeff Davis. An in-demand associate of everyone from Jesse Stacken to Anna Webber Davis is economical when releasing leadership CDs and spaces his releases accordingly.

He doesn’t have to be that chary since the 11 tracks here serve as a compendium of the influences which preoccupy many young musical veterans. Unsurprisingly the fealty to Bop mainstream followed by the neo-cons of the 1980s has been replaced by an extension of the Fusion sounds that were part of these players introduction to Jazz. That’s why besides Davis using drum kit and vibraphone, Eivind Opsvik playing acoustic bass and Tony Malaby soloing on tenor and soprano saxophones, Jonathan Goldberger specializes in a highly electric Rock-influenced guitar, while Russ Lossing not only plays piano, but also layers the tracks with timbres from Fender Rhodes piano and Hammond B3 organ. MORE

March 9, 2020

Rob Clutton with Tony Malaby

Offering
SnailBongBong Records SBB 006

By Ken Waxman

Bolstering his skills as an improviser and composer, Toronto bassist Rob Clutton reconstitutes some of his previously recorded improvisations as notated kernels for this program with New York saxophonist Tony Malaby. No rote recapitulation, those themes and others are stretched and pulsated with the same cultivated freedom the duo brings to the completely improvised tracks.

Of the disc’s 11 tunes, some like “Refuge” come across with supple guitar-like strokes from Clutton matched with relaxed tone expressions from Malaby that explore every facet of the piece. Meanwhile “Lattitude” revolves around a chromatic interface that depends on balancing the saxophonist’s undulating tremolo lines with the bassist’s deep, dark thumps. In contrast each of the three in-the-moment improvisations resonates with technical prowess that is as outstanding as it is subtle. There’s “Twig”, where Malaby’s sprightly altissimo-pitched soprano sax narrative is urged to flutter-tongued power by Clutton’s pressurized string stretches; or the frenetic commotion created on “Swerve” as the saxophonist’s detours into higher-pitched split tones needs tandem bass pumps to preserve broken-octave affiliations. MORE

January 13, 2020

Nick Fraser/Kris Davis/Tony Malaby

Zoning
Astral Spirits MF216/AS 112

By Ken Waxman

Somewhat of a misnomer, since Toronto drummer Nick Fraser, Canadian-in-Brooklyn pianist Kris Davis and New York saxophonist Tony Malaby are joined by German saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and Toronto/Berlin trumpeter Lina Allemano on half of the six tracks. Still, this Toronto-recorded session is effective with both configurations.

As a trio, especially on Davis’ composition “Events”, the exposition is pulled out to a logical point with the pianist’s rapid key clipping and Malaby’s intense growling action climaxing together, until dark piano voicing coupled with a tender reed line transform the track into a near ballad. Meanwhile in quintet form the tunes modulate from ambulatory to atonal. The former is exposed on Fraser’s “Wells Tower”, when balanced and individual split tones from Laubrock on tenor and Malaby on soprano saxophones bounce to a neatly harmonized intensity as the trumpeter creates a brassy affirmation to the narrative. Free sounds get are featured most prominently on “Sketch 46”, another Fraser line. Here intermittent keyboard patterning plus strumming and stopped internal piano strings form the backdrop to crying corkscrew sequences and no-key pressure blowing from the reeds as Allemano’s twitters and doodles course among the reed layers, with the track firmly anchored and completed by chiming keyboard runs. MORE

August 23, 2019

Harris Eisenstadt

Old Growth Forest II
Astral Spirits MF 196/AS093

The Fictive Five

Anything is Possible

Clean Feed CF 514 CD

Creative and cooperative – or is that just Canadian? – Toronto-born, Brooklyn-based drummer Harris Eisenstadt has for the past 15 years attracted attention as a sophisticated bandleader and band member. A disciplined quartet outing, Old Growth Forest II elaborates the balanced compositions Eisenstadt creates to utilize the strong points of this quartet. Attuned to free-form improvisation, Anything is Possible allots additional space to a quintet with two double basses to stretch to the limits and beyond, compositions by saxophonist Larry Ochs with the drummer’s patterns strengthening the free-flowing expositions with just the right amount of force. MORE

January 16, 2019

Jacob Sacks

Fishes
Clean Feed CF 497CD

Robert Landfermann

Brief

Pirouet Records PIT 3103

Although populist demagogues may keep insisting on nationalism and exclusivity, in truth the world and its people are more globalist than ever, especially when it comes to Europe and North American. One confirmation in the musical sense arrives with these striking examples of contemporary quintet Jazz. Fishes may be all-American and Brief fourth-fifth German with an American drummer, but the points of demarcation are meager. Except for the number of tracks and that the US disc features a tenor and a tenor/soprano saxophonist, while the German horn section is a tenor and an alto saxophonist, there’s nothing particularly Teutonic or Yank about either/ MORE

August 26, 2018

Samo Salamon/Tony Malaby/Roberto Dani

Travelling Moving Breathing
Clean Feed CF 468 CD

Taking on more challenges, Slovakian guitarist Samo Salamon sets up a session where he matches musical wits with long-time associate, Italian drummer Roberto Dani and American saxophonist Tony Malaby, on tracks that revel in exploratory tensions, but never skirt the tradition long enough to be unpalatable. In his compositions and performances, Salamon, who in the past has recorded with everyone from Gerald Cleaver to Dominique Pifarely, helps turn string buzzes, reed split tones and irregular drum shits into a notable program, MORE

November 16, 2017

Mario Pavone

Vertical
Clean Feed CF 423 CD

Mario Pavone Dialect Trio

Chrome

Playscape Recordings PSR #060316

Moving into his eighth decade, bassist Mario Pavone still maintains the organizational and compositional smarts that have characterized his career as a musical partner with players as different as reedists Anthony Braxton and Thomas Chapin as well as pianist Paul Bley and guitarist Michael Musillami. Like writers such as Vladimir Nabokov and John O’Hara, whose later fiction was at least as eminent as their work as younger scribblers, one could say Pavone has improved with age. MORE

September 1, 2016

Nick Fraser Quartet

Starer
No label No #

By Ken Waxman

Usually powering – literally – jazz or improvised ensembles from behind his kit, Toronto drummer Nick Fraser brings his compositional talents upfront on this CD. Like a gracious host who ensures each of his guests is properly included in party discourse, the drummer minimizes his role to commentary via irregular clunks and pops, opening up the pieces to be interpreted by locals, cellist Andrew Downing and bassist Rob Clutton, plus New York saxophonist Tony Malaby. MORE

May 27, 2016

Bathysphere

Bathysphere
Driff Records CD 1502

Spinflex

Maximus

Trytone TT99-062

Translating musical ideas from a small group to a big band involves more than merely writing more parts. Like scientists who evoke new laboratory procedures to properly isolate unique phenomenon, Bathysphere’s two composers and Spinflex’s three approached the seven tracks on each of these CDs with methodologies that take into account the variegated colors available from multiple players as well as the resultant juiced up solo strength. Again like researchers whose breakthroughs are predicated on earlier experiments, the CDs’ stimulating shape(s) are the result of imaginative arrangements that take the individual bands’ identities a few steps forward. MORE

March 22, 2016

Harris Eisenstadt

Old Growth Forest
Clean Feed CF 359 CD

By Ken Waxman

Away from his patriotically named Canada Day band, Toronto-born, Brooklyn-based drummer Harris Eisenstadt convenes a quartet to sturdily deal with his compositions named for a Canadian national resource: trees. Trombonist Jeb Bishop, bassist Jason Roebke and tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby are likely conservationists, but all – especially the first two – play with enough lumberjack-like brawniness that it appears they could fell an entire old growth forest with slide or bow motions. Recorded the day after a concert, the four are fused like wood glue, with Roebke’s string chops setting the pace, Eisenstadt’s multi-directional rattles used like logger’s protective gear, nudging the others along the right path without injury, and Bishop’s and Malaby’s contrapuntal sound distribution as balanced as two workers must be on either side of a chainsaw. MORE

April 12, 2015

Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York

Shiki
Libra Records 215-036

Ananda Gari

T-Duality

Auand Records AU 9041

Tineke Postma

Sonic Halo

Challenge Records CR 73370

Ben Goldberg

Orphic Machine

BAG Productions BAG 007

SITA: Cutting-Edge Free Improvisation at The Music Gallery

By Ken Waxman

Major improvisers from elsewhere frequently play Toronto, but not as often do they appear with an all-star line-up. That’s what happens on April 29 when alto saxophonist Tim Berne’s Snakeoil is in concert at The Music Gallery. Berne, who has been on the cutting edge of advanced jazz for 30-odd years, arrives with three younger players who have distinguished themselves on the New York scene: fellow reedist Oscar Noriega, pianist Matt Mitchell and drummer Ches Smith. This being the 21th Century and past the age of consistently working groups, each – including Berne – is involved in many other projects. MORE

June 15, 2014

Tony Malaby Tamarindo

Somos Agua
Clean Feed CF 304 CD

By Ken Waxman

An essay on the intricacies of saxophone improvisation, New York tenor man Tony Malaby explorers every nuance of reed sounds on this matchless session, backed only by the four-square pacing of William Parker’s double bass and the rhythmic flow of drummer Nasheet Waits. Reminiscent of similar trio tours-de-force by Sonny Rollins and Joe Henderson, the seven selections make up a suite whose parts flow logically and seamlessly into one another. At the same time, Malaby’s solos confirm his experimental credo by exposing as many split tones and screeches as emotive flutters and gentling tones. MORE

August 28, 2013

Ches Smith and These Arches

Hammered
Clean Feed CF 270 CD

Ingrid Laubrock’s Anti House

Strong Place

Intakt CD 208

Guitarist Mary Halvorson may be the connection between these two New York-centred quintet sessions, yet their striking individuality results from who’s sitting behind the drum kit. On Hammered, Ches Smith, whose experience encompasses drumming for rock bands such as Secret Chiefs 3, brings a punkish energy to an affiliation with certified New York downtowners. Meanwhile, although Strong Place is under saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock’s leadership – she also composed all the tunes – much of the disc’s definition comes from the laid-back rhythm strategy of drummer Tom Rainey, who usually fronts a trio filled out by the German-born tenor and soprano saxophonist and Halvorson. Other players on Strong Place include pianist Kris Davis, who is Canadian, and bassist John Hébert who isn’t, despite the way he spells his last name. MORE

April 21, 2013

Angelica Sanchez Quintet

Wires and Moss
Clean Feed CF 259 CD

Nick Fraser

Towns and Villages

Barnyard Records BR 0330

Arriving in New York from his native Tucson in 1995, Tony Malaby has since made his distinctive tenor and soprano saxophone tones part of that city’s scene, both with his own bands and as a sideman – most notably with bassist Mark Helias’ trio. His high- quality improvisations are featured on both these CDs, although he does have much closer ties to one leader than the other.

That’s because pianist Angelica Sanchez, who also composed Wires and Moss’s half-dozen tracks, is Malaby’s spouse, as well as being a respected jazzer in her own right. Another session reflecting her unique vision, the disc unites the two with a top rhythm section of bassist Drew Gress and drummer Tom Rainey plus French guitarist Marc Ducret. A responsive time-keeper who composed all the titles on his CD, Toronto-based drummer Nick Fraser calls on Malaby’s skills more platonically on Canadian Towns and Villages. The distinctiveness of this CD comes from the juxtaposition of his and the saxman’s instruments with those played by two other Toronto-based musicians. The distinctive timbres of Andrew Downing’s cello and Rob Clutton’s bass are both cleverly worked into the arrangements. MORE

April 21, 2013

Nick Fraser

Towns and Villages
Barnyard Records BR 0330

Angelica Sanchez Quintet

Wires and Moss

Clean Feed CF 259 CD

Arriving in New York from his native Tucson in 1995, Tony Malaby has since made his distinctive tenor and soprano saxophone tones part of that city’s scene, both with his own bands and as a sideman – most notably with bassist Mark Helias’ trio. His high- quality improvisations are featured on both these CDs, although he does have much closer ties to one leader than the other.

That’s because pianist Angelica Sanchez, who also composed Wires and Moss’s half-dozen tracks, is Malaby’s spouse, as well as being a respected jazzer in her own right. Another session reflecting her unique vision, the disc unites the two with a top rhythm section of bassist Drew Gress and drummer Tom Rainey plus French guitarist Marc Ducret. A responsive time-keeper who composed all the titles on his CD, Toronto-based drummer Nick Fraser calls on Malaby’s skills more platonically on Canadian Towns and Villages. The distinctiveness of this CD comes from the juxtaposition of his and the saxman’s instruments with those played by two other Toronto-based musicians. The distinctive timbres of Andrew Downing’s cello and Rob Clutton’s bass are both cleverly worked into the arrangements. MORE

November 6, 2012

Benoît Delbecq

Crescendo in Duke
Nato 4375

François Houle

Genera

Songlines SGL 1595-2

François Houle/Benoît Delbecq

Because She Hoped

Songlines SGL 1592-2

By Ken Waxman

Paris-based, but as likely to turn up on North American as European sessions, pianist Benoît Delbecq is the very model of a cosmopolitan improviser. Often working with prepared piano and/or electronics, Delbecq specializes in cutting-edge interpretations, but his limpid playing also relates to a tradition that takes in Steve Lacy and through him Duke Ellington. MORE

February 5, 2012

Tony Malaby’s

Novela
Clean Feed CF 232

Olaf Rupp/Joe Williamson/Tony Buck

Weird Weapons 2

Creative Sources CS197 CD

Splice

LAB

Loop Records 1013

Bioni-Solberg-Brow

Hopscotch

ILK 179 CD

Something In The Air:

Expat Canadians Create High-Class Improv

By Ken Waxman

Almost from the time the professional music business was established in this country, the expected route for success has been for artists to head off to the larger market down south and set up shop there. Canadians from Percy Faith and Maynard Ferguson to Joni Mitchell and Teresa Stratas effectively followed that formula. But today, as American musical hegemony lessens and modern communications almost literally shrink the world, musicians, especially those who play improvised music, can demonstrate that a permanent home in Europe is as beneficial as becoming an American resident. MORE

June 15, 2011

Gerald Cleaver Uncle June

Be It As I See It
Fresh Sound New Talent FSNT-375

Program music that avoids the expected, drummer Gerald Cleaver’s Be It As I See It is a finely formed meditation that makes purely musical points. Although based on the Great Migration of American Blacks from the South to the North from the 1920s onwards, Detroit-born, New York-based Cleaver, whose immediate family was involved in the journey, has created a magisterial chamber work which carefully avoids clichés. There are no allusions to south-of-the Mason-Dixon agrarian nostalgia or attempts to musically recreate the gritty urban north. MORE

February 12, 2011

Tony Malaby’s Tamarindo

Live
Clean Feed CF 200CD

By Ken Waxman

Despite the overtly Christian religious iconography on the cover of Tamarindo Live, it would seem that the faith affirmed by this expanded version of saxophonist Tony Malaby’s band is that of free jazz. Moreover, the addition of veteran trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, certainly no fundamentalist, to the core trio filled out by second-generation drum stylist Nasheet Waits and free jazz’s most omnipresent bassist William Parker, elevates the program to an even higher spiritual and sonic plane. MORE

January 11, 2010

Steve Lehman Octet

Travail, Transformation, and Flow
Pi Records P130

James Carney Group

Ways & Means

Songlines SGL SA 1580-2

At least since the flexibility of a little big band was demonstrated in Miles Davis’ 1949 Birth of the Cool sessions musicians have utilized that formation when they want to expand their compositional reach without getting involved in the sometimes ponderous arrangements needed for an official big band.

Two stellar examples of the adaptable colors and rhythms available from seven- or eight-piece bands are these CDs by New York-based improvisers. Although both impressively extend sonic visions through the solos of some of Manhattan’s top players and crafty arrangements, overall alto saxophonist Steve Lehman’s Travail, Transformation, and Flow has the edge. Concerned with displaying the nuanced harmonics and overtones available from an assimilation of spectral music, the freshness of his arrangements and compositions trumps keyboardist James Carney’s scores on Ways & Means. Not that Carney’s conceptions are anyway second rate. It’s just that the compositions are shaped and performed in a contemporary jazz fashion in such a way that the results are expected and almost too familiar. You can almost see the parts clank and shudder into place. Perhaps “see” is the key word here as well, since Carney describes the Chamber Music America-commissioned Ways & Means as designed to be a movie in sound. MORE

January 11, 2010

James Carney Group

Ways & Means
Songlines SGL SA 1580-2

Steve Lehman Octet

Travail, Transformation, and Flow

Pi Records P130

At least since the flexibility of a little big band was demonstrated in Miles Davis’ 1949 Birth of the Cool sessions musicians have utilized that formation when they want to expand their compositional reach without getting involved in the sometimes ponderous arrangements needed for an official big band.

Two stellar examples of the adaptable colors and rhythms available from seven- or eight-piece bands are these CDs by New York-based improvisers. Although both impressively extend sonic visions through the solos of some of Manhattan’s top players and crafty arrangements, overall alto saxophonist Steve Lehman’s Travail, Transformation, and Flow has the edge. Concerned with displaying the nuanced harmonics and overtones available from an assimilation of spectral music, the freshness of his arrangements and compositions trumps keyboardist James Carney’s scores on Ways & Means. Not that Carney’s conceptions are anyway second rate. It’s just that the compositions are shaped and performed in a contemporary jazz fashion in such a way that the results are expected and almost too familiar. You can almost see the parts clank and shudder into place. Perhaps “see” is the key word here as well, since Carney describes the Chamber Music America-commissioned Ways & Means as designed to be a movie in sound. MORE

July 3, 2009

Paul Dunmall Sun Quartet

Ancient and Future Airs
Clean Feed CF 138 CD

The September Quartet

What Goes Around

Loose Torque LT 015

As he has proved in other situations – most notably his two decades long membership in both the London Jazz Composers Orchestra and the collective quartet Mujician – saxophonist Paul Dunmall is the consummate group player.

With wide-ranging influences that take in Carnatic sounds, semi-folk material, so-called Ecstatic Jazz and free-form improv, the London-based musician is known for his tenor saxophone playing, but also tries out other members of the saxophone family – including the saxello – and has recently turned his attention to the border bagpipes. MORE

July 3, 2009

The September Quartet

What Goes Around
Loose Torque LT 015

Paul Dunmall Sun Quartet

Ancient and Future Airs

Clean Feed CF 138 CD

As he has proved in other situations – most notably his two decades long membership in both the London Jazz Composers Orchestra and the collective quartet Mujician – saxophonist Paul Dunmall is the consummate group player.

With wide-ranging influences that take in Carnatic sounds, semi-folk material, so-called Ecstatic Jazz and free-form improv, the London-based musician is known for his tenor saxophone playing, but also tries out other members of the saxophone family – including the saxello – and has recently turned his attention to the border bagpipes. MORE

April 8, 2009

Tony Malaby Cello Trio

Warblepeck
Songlines SGL SA1574-2

Peter Brötzmann/Fred Lonberg-Holm

The Brain of the Dog in Section

Atavistic ALP 186 CD

Hardest working man in cello business, Chicago-based Fred Lonberg-Holm is the point of intersection for these sessions. More to the point, even though both feature his strings and electronics plus the talents of an unfettered saxophonist – as well as percussionist John Hollenbeck on Warblepeck – the results couldn’t be more different.

Partnered alongside Lonberg-Holm on The Brain of the Dog in Section is veteran Peter Brötzmann playing alto and tenor saxophones, Bb clarinet and torogato in his usual take-no-prisoners style. Lasting fewer than 38 minutes both men demonstrate how stark, unfettered, harsh improvisation reveal the essence of improvisation. MORE

April 8, 2009

Peter Brötzmann/Fred Lonberg-Holm

The Brain of the Dog in Section
Atavistic ALP 186 CD

Tony Malaby Cello Trio

Warblepeck

Songlines SGL SA1574-2

Hardest working man in cello business, Chicago-based Fred Lonberg-Holm is the point of intersection for these sessions. More to the point, even though both feature his strings and electronics plus the talents of an unfettered saxophonist – as well as percussionist John Hollenbeck on Warblepeck – the results couldn’t be more different.

Partnered alongside Lonberg-Holm on The Brain of the Dog in Section is veteran Peter Brötzmann playing alto and tenor saxophones, Bb clarinet and torogato in his usual take-no-prisoners style. Lasting fewer than 38 minutes both men demonstrate how stark, unfettered, harsh improvisation reveal the essence of improvisation. MORE

June 6, 2008

Kidd Jordan/Kali Z. Fasteau

LIVE at the Kerava Jazz Festival: Finland
Flying Note FNCD 9012

Evan Parker-Mark Wastell-Graham Halliwell-Max Eastley

A Life Saved By a Spider and Two Doves

Another Timbre at06

Scott Fields

Bitter Love Songs

Clean Feed CF 102 CD

Open Loose

Strange Unison

Radio Legs RL 013

Jason Stein

A Calculus of Loss

Clean Feed CF 104 CD

By Ken Waxman

Arguments exist as to the commercial benefits of free trade agreements. But musicians wish similar treaties existed for their trade. In the period since NFTA, for instance, the ability of performers to travel across borders has become worse. That’s what makes festival season important. Foreign performers ranging from respected veterans to savvy tyros get Canadian exposure. Recent CDs here capture older jazzers’ alchemy and suggest newer players to watch. MORE

June 6, 2008

Scott Fields

Bitter Love Songs
Clean Feed CF 102 CD

Evan Parker-Mark Wastell-Graham Halliwell-Max Eastley

A Life Saved By a Spider and Two Doves

Another Timbre at06

Kidd Jordan/Kali Z. Fasteau

LIVE at the Kerava Jazz Festival: Finland

Flying Note FNCD 9012

Open Loose

Strange Unison

Radio Legs RL 013

Jason Stein

A Calculus of Loss

Clean Feed CF 104 CD

By Ken Waxman

Arguments exist as to the commercial benefits of free trade agreements. But musicians wish similar treaties existed for their trade. In the period since NFTA, for instance, the ability of performers to travel across borders has become worse. That’s what makes festival season important. Foreign performers ranging from respected veterans to savvy tyros get Canadian exposure. Recent CDs here capture older jazzers’ alchemy and suggest newer players to watch. MORE

June 6, 2008

Evan Parker-Mark Wastell-Graham Halliwell-Max Eastley

A Life Saved By a Spider and Two Doves
Another Timbre at06

Kidd Jordan/Kali Z. Fasteau

LIVE at the Kerava Jazz Festival: Finland

Flying Note FNCD 9012

Scott Fields

Bitter Love Songs

Clean Feed CF 102 CD

Open Loose

Strange Unison

Radio Legs RL 013

Jason Stein

A Calculus of Loss

Clean Feed CF 104 CD

By Ken Waxman

Arguments exist as to the commercial benefits of free trade agreements. But musicians wish similar treaties existed for their trade. In the period since NFTA, for instance, the ability of performers to travel across borders has become worse. That’s what makes festival season important. Foreign performers ranging from respected veterans to savvy tyros get Canadian exposure. Recent CDs here capture older jazzers’ alchemy and suggest newer players to watch. MORE

June 6, 2008

Jason Stein

A Calculus of Loss
Clean Feed CF 104 CD

Evan Parker-Mark Wastell-Graham Halliwell-Max Eastley

A Life Saved By a Spider and Two Doves

Another Timbre at06

Kidd Jordan/Kali Z. Fasteau

LIVE at the Kerava Jazz Festival: Finland

Flying Note FNCD 9012

Scott Fields

Bitter Love Songs

Clean Feed CF 102 CD

Open Loose

Strange Unison

Radio Legs RL 013

By Ken Waxman

Arguments exist as to the commercial benefits of free trade agreements. But musicians wish similar treaties existed for their trade. In the period since NFTA, for instance, the ability of performers to travel across borders has become worse. That’s what makes festival season important. Foreign performers ranging from respected veterans to savvy tyros get Canadian exposure. Recent CDs here capture older jazzers’ alchemy and suggest newer players to watch. MORE

June 6, 2008

Open Loose

Strange Unison
Radio Legs RL 013

Evan Parker-Mark Wastell-Graham Halliwell-Max Eastley

A Life Saved By a Spider and Two Doves

Another Timbre at06

Kidd Jordan/Kali Z. Fasteau

LIVE at the Kerava Jazz Festival: Finland

Flying Note FNCD 9012

Scott Fields

Bitter Love Songs

Clean Feed CF 102 CD

Jason Stein

A Calculus of Loss

Clean Feed CF 104 CD

By Ken Waxman

Arguments exist as to the commercial benefits of free trade agreements. But musicians wish similar treaties existed for their trade. In the period since NFTA, for instance, the ability of performers to travel across borders has become worse. That’s what makes festival season important. Foreign performers ranging from respected veterans to savvy tyros get Canadian exposure. Recent CDs here capture older jazzers’ alchemy and suggest newer players to watch. MORE

April 1, 2008

Carl Ludwig Hübsch

Primordial Soup
Red Toucan RT 9331

Kartet

The Bay Window

Songlines SGL SA 1560-2

James Carney Group

Green-Wood

Songlines SGL SA 1566-2

Alberto Braida/Wilbert de Joode

Reg Erg

Red Toucan RT 9332

Butcher/Muller/van der Schyff

Way Out Northwest

Drip Audio DA 00272

By Ken Waxman

Music transcends borders, and so does music distribution in the Internet age. Couple this with the maturation of the Canadian improvised music scene and a new phenomenon is visible: CDs recorded elsewhere, but released by Canadian labels for international distribution. MORE

April 1, 2008

Butcher/Muller/van der Schyff

Way Out Northwest
Drip Audio DA 00272

Kartet

The Bay Window

Songlines SGL SA 1560-2

James Carney Group

Green-Wood

Songlines SGL SA 1566-2

Alberto Braida/Wilbert de Joode

Reg Erg

Red Toucan RT 9332

Carl Ludwig Hübsch

Primordial Soup

Red Toucan RT 9331

By Ken Waxman

Music transcends borders, and so does music distribution in the Internet age. Couple this with the maturation of the Canadian improvised music scene and a new phenomenon is visible: CDs recorded elsewhere, but released by Canadian labels for international distribution. MORE

April 1, 2008

Alberto Braida/Wilbert de Joode

Reg Erg
Red Toucan RT 9332

Kartet

The Bay Window

Songlines SGL SA 1560-2

James Carney Group

Green-Wood

Songlines SGL SA 1566-2

Carl Ludwig Hübsch

Primordial Soup

Red Toucan RT 9331

Butcher/Muller/van der Schyff

Way Out Northwest

Drip Audio DA 00272

By Ken Waxman

Music transcends borders, and so does music distribution in the Internet age. Couple this with the maturation of the Canadian improvised music scene and a new phenomenon is visible: CDs recorded elsewhere, but released by Canadian labels for international distribution. MORE

April 1, 2008

James Carney Group

Green-Wood
Songlines SGL SA 1566-2

Alberto Braida/Wilbert de Joode

Reg Erg

Red Toucan RT 9332

Kartet

The Bay Window

Songlines SGL SA 1560-2

Carl Ludwig Hübsch

Primordial Soup

Red Toucan RT 9331

Butcher/Muller/van der Schyff

Way Out Northwest

Drip Audio DA 00272

By Ken Waxman

Music transcends borders, and so does music distribution in the Internet age. Couple this with the maturation of the Canadian improvised music scene and a new phenomenon is visible: CDs recorded elsewhere, but released by Canadian labels for international distribution. MORE

April 1, 2008

Kartet

The Bay Window
Songlines SGL SA 1560-2

James Carney Group

Green-Wood

Songlines SGL SA 1566-2

Alberto Braida/Wilbert de Joode

Reg Erg

Red Toucan RT 9332

Carl Ludwig Hübsch

Primordial Soup

Red Toucan RT 9331

Butcher/Muller/van der Schyff

Way Out Northwest

Drip Audio DA 00272

By Ken Waxman

Music transcends borders, and so does music distribution in the Internet age. Couple this with the maturation of the Canadian improvised music scene and a new phenomenon is visible: CDs recorded elsewhere, but released by Canadian labels for international distribution. MORE

September 25, 2006

MALABY/SANCHEZ/RAINEY

Alive in Brooklyn Vol. 2
Sarama Records No #

MARK HELIAS' OPEN LOOSE
Atomic Clock
Radio Legs RL 012

By Ken Waxman

What a difference one musician makes. Both these sessions were recorded two months apart in the same Brooklyn club by the same engineer and with two of three players on both discs. So why then does ATOMIC CLOCK tick with barely repressed animation, while ALIVE IN BROOKLYN seems to meander?

However facile the answer may seem, responsibility shouldn’t rest with Angelica Sanchez, who plays electric piano in place of Mark Helias’ bass, featured on the first disc. Sanchez, a fine pianist and tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby’s spouse, obviously has a close bond with him. Drummer Tom Rainey, the last member of the trio has played with both husband and wife for years. In truth there’s also some sameness on ATOMIC CLOCK since, except for one track, where Open Loose is joined by Ellery Eskelin, its previous tenor player, there aren’t that many textures that three instruments can wring from a limited sound field. MORE

March 14, 2005

KEVIN NORTON’S BAUHAUS QUARTET

Time-Space Modulator
Barking Hoop BKH-008

TONY MALABY TRIO
Adobe
Sunnyside Records SSC 1137

Evolving his improvising from the odd side of convention, while maintaining a healthy respect for tradition, soprano and tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby could be the successor to Joe Lovano in terms of being an all-around, advanced inside player.

Like the older woodwind player, he teaches sax workshops, is on call as a sidemen for many bands as well as his own, interprets standards, jazz and otherwise, as well as writing his own material. Heck, with his girth and beard he could pass for Lovano’s kid brother. MORE

June 7, 2004

FRED HERSCH

Fred Hersch Trio + 2
Palmetto Records PM 2099

Back in 1977, as a change of pace, pianist Bill Evans added saxophonists Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh to his trio of the time for CROSSCURRENTS, a Fantasy LP that amplified and enhanced his usual sounds.

Fred Hersch, who is arguably Evans’ heir in subtle inventiveness, does almost the same thing on this CD. The results are outstanding, giving an added robustness to the pianist’s compositions, which have a tendency to be overly fragile and prosaically mainstream in other situations. MORE

February 23, 2004

ANGELICA SANCHEZ

Mirror Me
OmniTone 12203

TONY MALABY
Apparitions
Songlines SGL SA 1545-2

Commentators often ascribe a certain innate togetherness to the playing of married couples who record together, which in reality is no more than the sort of sympatico feelings band members can express for one another. More critically, husband and wife musicians can and should develop separate musical personalities.

That’s the fascination and interest in MIRROR ME and APPARITIONS. For while Jersey City, N.J. saxophonist Tony Malaby and pianist Angelica Sanchez have been married since 1998 and together for years before that, their albums aren’t that much similar than any two others by a pianist and saxophonist. The tenor and soprano man may play on his better half’s CD, in fact, but the outcome is different. MORE

January 19, 2004

MARIO PAVONE AND HIS NU TRIO/QUINTET

Orange
Playscape PSR#J061803

CONDITIONS
A Bright Nowhere
Matchless MRCD 55

Turning on its head the old NRA slogan of “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” and actually that way making a modicum of sense out of its twisted message, these bands show that instruments don’t make the music, people do.

For both these quintets consist of improvisers playing the exact same instruments and ones which make up the prototypical hard bop quintet. Yet the advanced music played by Mario Pavone’s quintet -- and trio -- is anything but typical boppish fare. Meantime the Conditions twist the sounds arising from trumpet, tenor saxophone, piano, bass and drums into original fare that owes more to extended free improvisation than freebop. MORE

October 27, 2003

MARK HELIAS’ OPEN LOOSE

Verbs Of Will
Radio Legs RL 011

DAY AND TAXI
Private
Percaso 20

Differences that exist between these two saxophone-bass-and-drums sessions hinge less on the fact that one trio is Swiss and one American, than the comparisons extant from a working group and a newly constituted one.

Bassist Mark Helias’ Open Loose trio has been around for awhile, with tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby and drummer Tom Rainey filling it out for the past couple of years. VERB OF WILLS is a record of how the three sounded after playing together for weeks on an extended West Coast tour. MORE

January 2, 2003

GEORGE SCHULLER & SCHULLDOGS

Hellbent
Playscape PSR #J111300

Sometimes, it seems, it pays to live in what many people would figure are the jazz boondocks.

At least that’s what the audience in attendance at The Outpost in Albuquerque, N. M. must have felt a couple of years ago when they got to participate in this exceptional live recording by drummer George Schuller’s Schulldogs. What the Brooklyn-based percussionist did that night was to plop a little bit of downtown Manhattan into the American southwest, count off six of his compositions, and let the chips fall where they would. MORE

July 13, 2002

MARIO PAVONE

Mythos
Playscape PSR#J111401

Veteran bassist Mario Pavone better watch out. His writing and playing could breathe new life to the standard jazz piano trio format, which in other hands is mired in predictability. Of course, as this eye-opening CD, split between trio and quintet tracks shows, he may also be able to do the same for the traditional two-horns-and-rhythm jazz quintet.

What does Pavone have that others lack? Well, for a start, it’s experience. At 62, he’s been involved in modern genres that encompassed screaming energy music, calm modern composition and creative freebop, finally settling on his mixture of sound and silence. Influenced by the approach of intellectual playing partners like multi-reedist Anthony Braxton and pianist Paul Bley, Pavone was heavily involved in the group sound created in the 1970s and 1980s by his contemporaries such as drummer Gerry Hemingway, brassman Wadada Leo Smith and multi-woodwind player Thomas Chapin. MORE

October 31, 2000

TONY MALABY

Sabino
Arabesque Jazz AJ 0153

Tony Malaby sees himself as a roots man. Tenorist of choice for such New York "downtowners" as Mark Helias, Tom Varner and Marty Ehrlich, his first CD is an attempt to link freer music with his background as a Mexican American from Tucson, Ariz.

While it may not really conjure up "the desert voodoo" of his youth, SABINO is a respectable, heartfelt effort, showcasing a soloist who has obviously thought long and hard before entering the studio. Overall more Thompson Square than Tucson, the CD is still colored with a tincture of romanticism that sets it apart from other products of New York's Lower East Side.

MORE