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Tony Malaby Tamarindo: Somos Agua (2014)

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Tony Malaby Tamarindo: Somos Agua How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Saxophonist Tony Malaby
Tony Malaby
Tony Malaby

sax, tenor
's Tamarindo, featuring the unerring bassist William Parker
William Parker
William Parker
b.1952
bass, acoustic
and explosive drummer Nasheet Waits
Nasheet Waits
Nasheet Waits
b.1971
drums
explore the possibilities of the saxophone trio on Somos Agua with frequently staggering results—sort of like a very free version of the Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
b.1930
saxophone
unit with Wilbur Ware
Wilbur Ware
Wilbur Ware
1923 - 1979
bass, acoustic
and Elvin Jones
Elvin Jones
Elvin Jones
1927 - 2004
drums
that recorded A Night at the Village Vanguard some 57 years ago.

Waits crackles and pops like gunfire in a high-rise alley as Malaby riffs in a stream-of-consciousness style reminiscent of Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
b.1930
sax, alto
's infinite melodic information with some Albert Ayler
Albert Ayler
Albert Ayler
1936 - 1970
sax, tenor
tonal manipulation thrown in. Parker's strums, pedals, and arco construct a mooring pylon around which the raging currents of tenor shrieks and drum fusillade circumnavigate on the blistering "Mule Skinner," which concludes on an archetypal bowed solo that serves as the connective tissue into the free-dirge of "Loretto," where his resonant pizzicato holds down the fort.

Although it's possible to hear bits of Rollins, Coleman, Ayler and Dewey Redman
Dewey Redman
Dewey Redman
b.1931
sax, tenor
in Malaby's aesthetic—they're only bits—he's found a voice of his own; surviving in the intensely swinging melee conjured by Parker and Waits wouldn't be an option otherwise, especially in the sonic onslaught of "Matik-Matik" which burns hot enough to melt steel.

Waits's dynamic finesse is quite amazing; he can churn the kinetic-energy up to triple-forte or dial it as quiet as a church mouse—something he does several times during the course of the wildly episodic "Can't find you..." which shifts from maelstrom shouts to pensive wails —all with a groove strong enough to climb on.

The concept of groove, of course, is one he shares with the redoubtable Parker, whose inventions can gild even the most skeletal constructs into a dancing being—whether he's plucking like a free Percy Heath
Percy Heath
Percy Heath
1923 - 2005
bass, acoustic
or sawing like a hornet's nest —it all pulses with the primal force of the human heart.

Malaby's got something going here, and the music on Somos Agua is a prime example of where the saxophone trio should be headed in the years to come.

Track Listing: Mule Skinner; Loretto; *Matik-Matik*; Can't find you...; Bitter Dream; Little Head; Somos Agua.

Personnel: Tony Malaby: soprano and tenor saxophone; William Parker: double bass; Nasheet Waits: drums.

Record Label: Clean Feed Records


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