Tag Archives: William Parker

JazzWord review by Ken Waxman

Tony Malaby’s Tamarindo – Live (CF 200)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.

Malaby, who served his apprenticeship in bands such as bassist’s Mark Helias’ trio, is confident in his solos at this Jazz Gallery session, and contributes four strong compositions. Unsurprisingly, the weightiest is the unadorned “Death Rattle”. Intense friction from Parker’s string rasgueado and Watts’ mercurial press rolls set the scene, elaborated by buzzing grace notes and slurs from the trumpeter and split tone and snorts from the saxophonist. Eventually as the drummer’s ruffs and ratamacues harden into march tempo, a sequence of reed sluices are evoked in double counterpoint to Smith’s capillary brays and bugle-call-like clarion runs. With all four players maintaining the tension, the final variant offers relief following Watts’ cymbal slaps and positioned nerve beats.

Happily the other tracks are more life affirming. “Jack the Hat with Coda” –celebrating Malaby’s son – is tender and temperate, the horns in counterpoint characterized by Smith’s trilling lopes and Malaby’s near-piccolo-tone soprano sax vibrations. As Smith and Malaby advance the line in lockstep, Parker’s stops and strums plus Watts’ bass drum smacks and paradiddles, downshift the theme to subdued concordance, given an added lilt in the dissolving postlude with barely there soprano chirps and trumpet obbligato.

Hopefully more than a one-shot experiment, a quartet Tamarindo is a first-class achievement all around.

Free Jazz review by Joe Higham

Tony Malaby’s – Tamarindo Live (CF 200)****½
This is anthill music. Yes, that’s what I said, anthill music, and you’d be right to ask what Tony Malaby’s Tamarindo and anthills have in common. Well, have you ever spent a lovely afternoon lazing around having a picnic somewhere out in the countryside? And if so maybe you lounged around after eating, staring into the grass or field around you, and as time passes you notice you’re sitting on (or near an anthill). Gradually you become engrossed and start to watch those ants running around (probably picking up your left-overs) in what seems utter chaos. Little by little as you watch you notice patterns forming, ants crossing paths without ever colliding, never an argument (as ants don’t have road rage), so much happening, so busy. At times the ant rush hour slows only to build up again as other ants appear communicating something to their comrades which then renews the energetic bustle. They carry on their tasks in a way which become almost an art form, and what may seemed disorganised at first starts to take on form and order.

And that is why Tamarindo is anthill music. It’s very much a music which buzzes with a frenetic pulse often building from nothing, each player seemingly takes his own direction and yet as the music advances you realise that everybody is following everyone else. It may sound like chaos to someone walking into the room, but when you’re ‘in’ the music it’s very exciting, full of energy, and yet with so much going on around you it’s never crowded. In fact there’s so much here to discover that you will certainly have to listen many times before really knowing the music.

It would be difficult (and maybe pointless) to single out different tracks as this album could be heard as a suite, and even if the tracks do have names and approximative themes that appear when needed (i.e. not always sax and trumpet, and not always as openings), they seem less important as it’s more about capturing the moment. There are often quite moments of interplay such as on ‘Death Rattle’, ‘Hibiscus’ and in ‘Jack the Hat’, but much of this music boils away with fantastic interplay (as always) between these superb musicians – Tony Malaby (tenor and soprano sax), William Parker (bass), inspirational drummer Nasheet Waits and of course guest trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith.

The only odd thing is that the CD fades on the last track, perhaps they couldn’t stop, or was there just too much good music to fit onto this release?

Tags for this excellent release could be – Mujician, Ornette’s Science Fiction, The Thing, Vandermark 5, Supersilent (an acoustic version …. of course).

Le Son du Grisli review by Guillaume Belhomme

Tony Malaby – Tamarindo Live (CF 200)
Au Tamarindo d’origine, ajouter le trompettiste Wadada Leo Smith pour obtenir Tamarindo Live. Transformation datée du 5 juin 2010.

On sait l’instabilité avec laquelle l’inspiration meut Malaby, qui change fort selon ses partenaires. Aux côtés de Smith, Parker et Waits, la faute de goût serait malvenue : sonorité empruntée aux années 1960, le saxophoniste passe alors de ténor en soprano avec un charisme de forcené. Lorsque le développement musical se fait plus incertain, il trouve refuge dans les propositions de Smith, linéaires lorsqu’elles ne sont pas martiales, et toujours audacieuses autant que délicates.

Le contact rapproché jusque-là en attente, Malaby et Smith profitent de la conclusion pour jouer de paraphrase et de question-réponse, se cherchant sur structure rythmique surélevée et puis s’y accordant au son de notes longues. Tamarindo Live a passé. La discographie de Malaby y gagne une référence ; celle de Smith une évidente preuve de vaillance.

Tomajazz review by Pachi Tapiz

Tony Malaby’s Tamarindo Live (CF 200) 
Clean Feed llega a la referencia número 200 de su catálogo. Del mismo modo que en la número 100 se daba el lujo de publicar el cuádruple CD de improvisaciones de Joe Morris con Anthony Braxton, la de la segunda centena es un directo de hace apenas medio año (junio de 2010) por un grupo de lujo: el cuarteto consistente en el trío Tamarindo del saxofonista Tony Malaby (con William Parker al contrabajo y Nasheet Waits a la batería) más el añadido del trompetista Wadada Leo Smith. Su contenido incluye grandes nombres, pocas sorpresas formales y (sobre todo) música de primer nivel.

Poco hay que hablar sobre William Parker o sobre un histórico como Wadada Leo Smith. Tampoco demasiado sobre Nasheet Waits (que aquí está especialmente brillante), y quizás un poco más sobre Tony Malaby, aunque tampoco mucho más. Las cuatro son figuras ya consagradas, más conocidos unos músicos que otros, pero todos ellos con unas carreras a sus espaldas que avalan su calidad.

Tal y como comentaba esta grabación presenta pocas sorpresas, ya que el directo es el hábitat por antonomasia de estos cuatro músicos. Tony Malaby es el autor de las cinco composiciones (en la última pista a la composición “Jack The Hat” se le añade como coda el tema “Caged Man”). Éstas presentan unas formas bien definidas que los cuatro músicos se encargan de moldear a su gusto y ampliar hasta unas duraciones generosas (el tema más corto dura doce minutos, el más largo diecisite). De ese modo la música se puede desarrollar sin prisas y sin unos límites auto impuestos por los músicos.

Tampoco hay demasiadas sorpresas en cuanto a las formas con unas exposiciones de la melodía en conjunto a las que le siguen los correspondientes solos, o con esas regiones musicales aparentemente indefinidas y neblinosas en la que los músicos van intercambiando sus ideas y compartiendo su inspiración para ir construyendo la música. Tampoco hay sorpresas en los ambientes, que van cambiando tema a tema. Mientras en algunos momentos tienen un carácter más incisivo (aunque tampoco demasiado), en otros la música se vuelve más enigmática o incluso contemplativa. Todos estos ingredientes, sabiamente combinados y cocinados por la maestría de los cuatro músicos sirven para estructurar un pequeño festín para los oídos.

Posiblemente Pedro Costa y compañía podrían haber celebrado este aniversario con alguna de las otras muchas buenas obras que abundan en el catálogo de Clean Feed. Sin embargo y tras la escucha parece que la decisión de que fuese precisamente este título resulta más que acertada, ya que entronca perfectamente con la filosofía del resto de referencias. Sólo queda darles la enhorabuena por llegar al número 200 en el catálogo. Ahora les toca ir a por el 300.

All Music Guide review by Phil Freeman

Tony Malaby – Tamrindo Live (CF 200)
Like John Coltrane, Tony Malaby is a tenor saxophonist who occasionally picks up the soprano. That’s about as close as the two men get in terms of playing style or musical approach. Malaby’s lines don’t have much of the heartfelt spiritual questing of Coltrane, or Wayne Shorter; instead, he adopts the extended techniques of the AACM and modern improv players, using a range of fluttering tones and squeals more reminiscent of the work of Roscoe Mitchell or Evan Parker. When balanced against the approaches of his three bandmates on this date, the contrasts are quite interesting and occasionally revelatory. Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith is as interested in silence and space as he is in playing notes; his trumpet melodies frequently slur and become viscous, and his sense of rhythm is unique in jazz. Bassist William Parker is as powerful as ever on this live date, seeming to nearly tear the strings off the instrument’s neck as he keeps the band moving forward. Drummer Nasheet Waits is dexterous and subtle, swinging aggressively on the opening “Buoyant Boy” and the closing “Jack the Hat,” accenting the free-time ballads “Death Rattle” and “Hibiscus” with a sensitive touch, but never playing anything clumsy or forced. This is the kind of set — four long tracks, some quite forceful and others earnestly murmuring — one can hear in New York on almost any night of the week. It’s the quality of the performances, which are empathetic and collective in the best possible way, that jumps this CD out of the pack and makes it well worth hearing.

Jazz Prospecting reviews by Tom Hull

Ken Filiano & Quantum Entanglements: Dreams From a Clown Car (CF 207)
Bassist, a guy who has an uncanny knack of showing up on good records (John Hébert is another one), finally turns in one of his own. Two sax quartet, with Michaël Attias on baritone and alto, Tony Malaby on tenor and soprano, with Michael T.A. Thompson on drums. The two horns work in tight patterns — not a lot of freewheeling here, but the loopy melodies and vibrant textures are engaging. B+(***)

Joe Hertenstein/Pascal Niggenkemper/Thomas Heberer: HNH ( CF 205)
Got off on a tangent here: I had a database entry (Penguin 4-star record) for a Christoph Heberer, which is certainly wrong. There is a drummer named Christoph Haberer, and the trumpet player Thomas Heberer. Finally decided that the record in question belongs to Heberer, who was b. 1965, plays quarter-tone trumpet, has a scattered list of recordings since 1987, some trad jazz, some avant — Alexander von Schlippenbach, Misha Mengelberg, Aki Takase. Hertenstein is a drummer, and has a slight edge in compositions over Heberer. This is his first album. Niggenkemper plays bass, has one record from 2008 on Konnex. Tight, fairly minimal free jazz. B+(**)

Tony Malaby’s Tamarindo: Live (CF 200)Originally a tenor sax trio with Malaby, William Parker on bass, and Nasheet Waits on drums. This time adds Wadada Leo Smith on trumpet. Sounds like a good deal, but Smith focuses on the tight riffing he specializes in, and Malaby never breaks out — sound seems a little muffled to me. B+(*)

Jazz’N’More review by Jürg Solothurnmann

Note: 5
Diese Studioaufnahme beginnt mit heiseren Sounds, Referenzen an den R&B, den freien Archie Shepp und an Pharoah Sanders. Wie losgelöst legt Malaby dann über den intensiven Groove volltönende Sopranlinien, die zuerst wie losgelöst schweben, um dann ins schnelle Tempo einzuschwenken. Und wieder geht’s zurück zum Tenorsax, nun mit einem freien intimen Lied. Tony Malaby trifft man selten als Leader an, zu selten. Ohne Aufsehen zu erregen hat er sich seit 1990 in New York allmählich in die vorderste Reihe gespielt, ein Musiker, der mit jeder Situation zurecht kommt, ob mit Songs, modernem Mainstream, Stücken zwischen Jazz und Neuer Musik oder mit freien Inventionen. Sein erdiges Tenorspiel ist ausgezeichnet, aber noch individueller klingt sein Sopransaxophon (vgl. Mother’s Love). Der Texaner absorbiert ein breites Spektrum von Einflüssen, ohne je eine anderen Saxophonisten zu zitieren. Malaby mag bekannt sein von Bands in der Nachfolge von Mingus oder der Zusammenarbeit mit Joey DeFrancesco und Marty Ehrlich. Wenn der Begriff überhaupt noch taugt: hier spielt er Free Jazz von heute. Ausgehend von eigenem thematischem Material entwickelt er hier sechs farbige Stücke und hat dafür die massive, engagierte Unterstützung von zwei beschlagenen Partnern mit grossen Ohren. Hochmusikalisch wird das Material locker exponiert und frei verwertet. Die Musik ist kein Moment überladen, eine anregende, szenenreiche Session, spontan und gesanglich.