Tag Archives: William Parker

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.

Indie Music Blog review by Anthony Medici

More Other Stuff by Anthony Medici

My order from Clean Feed came in yesterday. In case you’ve been misled by those pop-jazz magazine polls into thinking the usual suspects (Blue Note, Verve, ECM) are actually issuing jazz recordings of real artistic interest, let me fill you in: Clean Feed, a label based, perhaps rather improbably, out of Portugal, is among the new leaders in creative improvised music. The label, started in 2001, has performed brilliantly, and features some superb artists: Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker, Tony Malaby, Steve Lehman, Charles Gayle, Paul Dunmall, and many other artists who are continuing to advance the art of creative improvised music. Where the industry “giants” look for the next Norah Jones clone, or pop star in need of a jazz “makeover,” Clean Feed is still about the “sound of surprise.” Blue Note used to be like this, but it has lost its way, depending upon a stream of reissues and pop crossovers to fill its roster and beholden to a corporate titan to adhere to the bottom line. Blue Note is now part of the “industrial-musical complex.” Anyway, the first two Clean Feeds out of the shipping box and into the CD player were Tony Malaby’s TAMARINDO, and Evan Parker’s A GLANCING BLOW.

cf099Let me say, right off, that this was two hours of riveting music. Malaby has grown into a major figure in creative improvised music, with strong exploratory instincts, and a depth of feeling that is notable. On TAMARINDO (CF 099), he is teamed with William Parker on double bass (someone please give this man a Guggenheim or MacArthur “genius” award, if only to say “thank you”) and Nasheet Waits on drums. I’ve been a bit tough on Nasheet recently, but his performance on this album is brilliant enough to almost make me retract some of what I’ve said. Parker and Waits form a rhythm section hard to surpass; note their roiling, boiling, deep, deep, deep in the pocket performance on “Floating Head.” Malaby rides this wave with intensity, intelligence, and feeling, on both tenor sax and soprano sax. I prefer him on the former, but there is little to quibble about here. This one is destined to be a classic that will repay repeated listens.

cf-0851A GLANCING BLOW (CF 085) features the Master, Evan Parker, on tenor and soprano sax, with John Edwards on double bass, and Chris Corsano on percussion. Corsano might be the best drummer you never heard of. The album consists of two lengthy cuts, the title track, and “Out of the Pocket.” The album was recorded at the Vortex in London on August 24, 2006, in front of a live audience, although that is not apparent until the end of the album. I was totally sucked into this performance, with its almost paranormal level of interplay amongst the group, its deep intelligence, and its creative improvising. You will not get this on Blue Note. You will not get this on Verve. You will likely not even get this on ECM, which still sputters to life once in a while, but which often settles for sonic wallpaper. “Clean Feed” delivers what it implies: a direct transmission of the artist’s vision to the listener. Notes and Miscellany: Will wonders never cease? Jazz Times cover story is on John Zorn, an interesting interview of Zorn with Bill Milkowski. The other cover features are more typical JT: “Marcus Roberts Returns”– did we care that he ever left?. “Melody Gardot: The Next Norah?”- words fail me (however, this article epitomizes what is wrong with jazz and the mainstream jazz mags). “Wynton & Branford Reviewed”- can we stand it? JT also has an article on Benny Golson, I suppose on the premise that Downbeat had the same article last month. I suppose they can’t help playing Frick and Frack, since they feed from the same PR stream. Speaking of Downbeat, their cover article on “Diana Krall: Loss, Love, & Confidence” is purely embarrassing. Jazz Festivals: All the magazines are featuring jazz festival sections and advertisements. Since space here is limited, I shall only say that many, too many, of the festivals that bill themselves as “jazz festivals” are larded (I use that word advisedly) with pop and “jazz lite” acts that have little to do with jazz. Folks, step out of the commercial rubbish and get a “clean feed.”

Improjazz review by Alexandre Pierrepont

cf099Tony Malaby / William Parker / Nasheet Waits – Tamarindo (CF 099)
Jouer, musiquer, frictionner. Un instrument contre l’autre (contre l’autre) tels des silex. Silex à souffles, silex à cordes, silex à peaux. Bois et métaux, bois et charbon, bois et sous-bois. Avec cela, comment produire des étincelles qui voltigent et vont former plus loin de nouveaux foyers d’incendie, qui montent en graines de feu, qui boutonnent la terre de flammes, qui s’embrasent, se dévêtissent, reverdissent ? Comment être la cause de tant de conséquences ? À tout moment, en toute assurance, ces trois hommes qui jouent passagèrement d’instruments se gratifient de perditions et de sauvetages, prennent plaisir à s’égarer ensemble et à se retrouver ensemble. La musique improvisée avec son nécessaire de voyage fantastique. J’y songe, mais voilà quelques années que la Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens diffuse ce message dans les couloirs et sur les quais du métro : « Attentifs ensemble », etc. S’ensuit l’habituel appel à la surveillance des uns par les autres qui sert désormais de lien social au pays. Mais, « attentifs ensemble », ça veut dire tout autre chose, n’est-ce pas ? Attentifs ensemble à tout ce qui pourrait fort heureusement nous dé-router, nous dé-tourner, nous dé-ranger (nous déterritorialiser, nous replanter dans le tout-monde). La musique improvisée comme sens de la désorientation. Utile à la vie, ça. Et ça joue. Dit-on. Ça s’entend. L’art et la manière de Tony Mallaby, dégagé enfin de ses responsabilités dans des groupes au « jazz » plus conventionnellement « moderne », est de refuser l’engagement. Non que son jeu soit fuyant ou désincarné (quoiqu’il sache camoufler son soprano ou son ténor en flûte ou en hautbois), mais il a l’art et la manière de se glisser entre les branchages de la contrebasse et de la batterie. Saxophone-phasme. Ainsi le saxophoniste, arrivé au croisement des routes, ne s’engage pas sur la voie déjà tracée du soliste azimuté. Il reconnaît les anciens chemins de terre. Il les emprunte. Il prend part aux activités de William Parker et de Nasheet Waits – ceux-là même qui épaississent le mystère – il joue sans cesse (musiquer, frictionner) avec eux, c’est-à-dire qu’ils s’écartent ensemble, attentifs. Phasme sur la contrebasse, lièvre dans le terrier de la batterie. Les classifications ne deviennent éclairantes que lorsqu’elles assument d’être subjectives, arbitraires, absurdes presque. Comme de dire que l’on écoute ici un trio de musiciens improvisateurs de la famille des chasseurs-cueilleurs.