Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

6

Juan Pablo Carletti / Tony Malaby / Christopher Hoffman: Niño/Brujo

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
For his debut album, NYC-based Argentinian drummer Juan Pablo Carletti has made some wise choices, even before one considers the music. Foremost among those is the selection of saxophonist Tony Malaby to front his trio. Malaby has a compelling track record of energising such threesomes, as evidenced by his 14 year tenure in bassist Mark Helias' Open Loose unit, as well as the reedman's own Tamarindo outfit. He has more than enough talent to carry a small combo as the only front line instrument. However that's not quite what's needed on Niño/Brujo as Carletti's other go to guy is top drawer cellist Christopher Hoffman, who numbers Henry Threadgill among his significant employers.

For a drummer helmed leadership date, Carletti keeps a remarkably low profile. That's compounded by a cool school vibe to some of the tracks such as "Miranda" and "Ballerina," where even Malaby's overblown distortions sound restrained. Although the themes are not overly memorable, they serve well their prime purpose to launch the three musicians into the improvisational space. Attention to detail is evident in how often the theme restatements at the end of a piece are subtly different from how they started off. Carletti has taken a variety of approaches across the seven cuts, but all are distinguished by the close knit interplay. That's most obvious on the involved "Lateral Thinking" the longest selection which links a series of discrete episodes.

As ever Malaby makes full use of tonal ambiguity, vocalized effects and split tones to extend his emotional impact. Hoffman proves adept with the bow, when his poised arco provides acerbic counterpoint to the saxophonist's ruminations, while his pizzicato is both nimble and melodic. Carletti shows himself to be a tuneful drummer, in the lineage of Ed Blackwell and Max Roach, although eschewing that pair's polyrhythmic drive.

Highlights include "Orange" which after a solo cello introduction builds, via a spacey interlude of breaths, sudden string flurries and cymbal splashes and sustained notes, into a passage of rough sawing vying with tenor skronk over roiling drums. It doesn't end there, as Carletti reiterates the tune via Malaby's perky tenor with a countermelody from Hoffman's bowed cello. As a change of pace, the succeeding "José" acts as a cooling balm, as mournful saxophone and cello intermingle in slow motion atmospherics. The concluding section of "Lateral Thinking" constitutes another peak with spirited tenor grit rubbing up against cello abrasions over an abstracted funk beat from the leader. Carletti has created a strong platform and the next entry in his discography should be eagerly awaited.

Track Listing: Miranda; Ballerina; Orange; José; Folkus; Lateral Thinking (for Edward DeBono); El Brujo.

Personnel: Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone; Christopher Hoffman: cello; Juan Pablo Carletti: drums, glockenspiel, melodica, compositions.

Title: Niño/Brujo | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bricks CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Ljubljana" CD/LP/Track Review Ljubljana
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Out of Place" CD/LP/Track Review Out of Place
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 6, 2017
Read "Disorder at the Border Plays Ornette" CD/LP/Track Review Disorder at the Border Plays Ornette
by Nicola Negri
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "On The Radio: BBC Sessions 1971" CD/LP/Track Review On The Radio: BBC Sessions 1971
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 6, 2017
Read "Tangents" CD/LP/Track Review Tangents
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 9, 2017
Read "Malamute" CD/LP/Track Review Malamute
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 27, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!