Home » Jazz Articles » Ben Monder / Tony Malaby / Tom Rainey: Live In Lisbon


Album Review

Ben Monder / Tony Malaby / Tom Rainey: Live In Lisbon


Sign in to view read count
Ben Monder / Tony Malaby / Tom Rainey: Live In Lisbon
Although we mourn the millions (estimated 6.5 million) of lives lost in the the great pandemic of the 21st century, some good things have survived. For our purposes, great expressions in music making. Live In Lisbon is a perfect example. Guitarist Ben Monder assembled a trio with saxophonist Tony Malaby and drummer Tom Rainey at the cusp of the pandemic in March of 2020 to perform at his Tuesday gig in New York. Eschewing written composition for an all improvised performance, the trio recorded Live At The 55 Bar (Sunnyside, 2021). The music was as dark and foreboding as the COVID lockdowns that were to come.

Jump forward twenty-one months and the trio took their message to Lisbon, Portugal, in November of 2021. The virus continued to be a known unknown, and the music remained within the same foreboding zeitgeist. This almost nameless, uncharted realm is once again explored. "Oort Cloud" opens with cautious notes; breathy tenor exhalations, quiet guitar and cymbal work as the trio wades gently into their performance, like one might step lightly onto a frozen lake. As their footing slowly firms up, the sound elevates, but so does the restless perturbation. Monder's heavy guitar effects coupled with Malaby's daunting tenor saxophone and the whirling drums of Rainey barely take their feet off the accelerators. Elsewhere "Tyche" and "Hyrrokkin" continue the same mode, building upon this dreaded undertow. The music is both harrowing and cathartic.

Track Listing

Oort Cloud; Tychs; Hyrrikkin.


Ben Monder: guitar; Tony Malaby: saxophone, tenor; Tom Rainey: drums.

Album information

Title: Live In Lisbon | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Robalo Music

Post a comment about this album

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.




Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.