593

Tony Malaby: Paloma Recio

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Tony Malaby: Paloma Recio One of New York City's most in-demand tenor saxophonists, Tony Malaby has become one of the most distinctive artists of his time. A first generation Mexican-American born in Tucson, Arizona, Paloma Recio finds Malaby delving deeper into his own personal history, abstracting Spanish-tinged melodies with the support of some of the best improvisers working today.

Focusing on Malaby's penchant for unbound lyricism, Paloma Recio (Loud Dove) is the self-titled debut of Malaby's quartet of the same name. Inspired by the same unfettered passion that spurned John Coltrane and Albert Ayler to lofty heights, Malaby's ensemble embarks on a journey that veers from euphonious ethereality ("Lucedes") to roiling turmoil ("Loud Dove").

A singular stylist, Malaby brings a wide range of expression to the tenor saxophone tradition. A vociferous soloist with a keen ear for structural dynamics, he tempers his explosive angularity with virtuosic embouchure control, pushing beyond conventional tonality with a subtly expansive harmonic palette. His ghostly cries and scorching glisses on "Alechinsky" offer a focused meditation on post-Ayler technique, while his lyrical refrains on "Sonoita" showcase his abilities in a mellifluous light.

Guitarist Ben Monder is the perfect foil for Malaby; his understated phrasing and gauzy distorted tone knits seamlessly with the tenor's breathy exhortations. The rapturously episodic "Loud Dove" reveals a multiplicity of techniques, from delicate kaleidoscopic arpeggios and shimmering atmospheric washes, to searing long tones and string bends that lift the bandstand. Often dovetailing with Malaby, their ornate cadences soar into oblivion with dramatic results; their intertwining discourse on "Boludos" is one of the most eloquent free meditations in recent memory.

Despite the emphasis on thematic development, the quartet does not lack rhythmic acuity; quite the opposite. Malaby's elastic compositions are woven from an impressionistic mosaic of melodic kernels, unfixed tempos and modulating rhythms. Left in the capable hands of bassist Eivind Opsvik and drummer Nasheet Waits, "Obambo" demonstrates their congenial rapport from the start, opening the album with a fluidly deconstructed variation on a lilting Afro-pop groove. Blending harmonious invention with colorful rhythmic accents, Opsvik and Waits bring Malaby's melodious sketches to life with empathetic interplay and dynamic versatility.

Paloma Recio is another stellar recording in the growing discography of one of today's preeminent tenor saxophonists. A vibrant exploration of the open-ended nature of melody, harmony and rhythm, Malaby's Paloma Recio quartet has delivered one of the most luxuriant and bracing albums of 2009.


Track Listing: Obambo; Lucedes; Alechinsky; Hidden; Boludos; Puppets; Sonoita; Loud Dove; Third Mystery; Musica Callada.

Personnel: Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone; Ben Monder: electric guitar; Eivind Opsvik: bass; Nasheet Waits: drums.

Title: Paloma Recio | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: New World Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Doug Collette
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Saturday Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Saturday Songs
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Cub(an)ism" CD/LP/Track Review Cub(an)ism
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 17, 2017
Read "Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh" CD/LP/Track Review Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 22, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.