Tony Malaby / Angelica Sanchez / Tom Rainey: Alive In Brooklyn (2004)
Alive in Brooklyn captures the buzz-prone Malaby/Sanchez/Rainey trio in the act on three extended performances, playing music improvised and occasionally arranged, keeping it exuberant and often enthralling. Their approach results in a unique flowing music, occasionally dissonant, but with unusual grace. Playing densely-toned electric piano, Angelica Sanchez nimbly keeps ideas coming. Tom Rainey drums with inspired variety. Tom Malaby plays sax with passion and driving fire.
Malaby plays a kid's melody to open 'Chimera,' but quickly the trio pulls into free fall with Sanchez tossing tiles under her partners' feet. Rainey busily rhythmless and Sanchez fluently out, they create a nearly tangible momentum and sense of structure, though both probably with free improvisation. Malaby changes the mood with raw-toned blowing. Sanchez skates through the keyboard as Rainey maintains a masterfully spontaneous drum line. Malaby switches to soprano, playing swoops and fat low tones, the other players rustling underneath.
Rainey's unpredictable drumming opens 'Brujeria,' Malaby blowing adventurous soprano and Sanchez casting a minor mode with sputtering drums keeping her company. Malaby switches to tenor and all three break loose. Malaby finds a small soft phrase and the band rests while he gets a near flute sound using extended techniques. With Rainey tickling the closed hi-hat, the other two players explore upper registers.
Malaby's soprano sets 'The Hat' in motion; Sanchez creates insubstantial support. They drift into a near funky sequence, as funky as possible without a beat. It winds down to Malaby playing long tones with Sanchez and Rainey moving into lullaby.
Track Listing: Chimera; Brujeria; The Hat.
Personnel: Tony Malaby: tenor and soprano saxophones; Angelica Sanchez: electric piano; Tom Rainey: drums