406

Donald Malloy: Spirituality

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Donald Malloy: Spirituality Jazz's most searing spiritual statement is not John Coltrane's A Love Supreme (1964, Impulse!); it was his recording, "Alabama," released a year earlier on Live at Birdland (1963, Impulse!). Written in the wake of the Ku Klux Klan's bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham on September 15, 1963, "Alabama" was an improvisation on rage, sorrow, and loss in the cotton-humid climes of the pre-Civil Rights Act Deep South.

Nina Simone addressed the church bombing with much different spiritual tome, "Mississippi Goddam." Simone's offering possessed more heat than Coltrane's but one equally relevant. Simone and Coltrane bravely provided corrosive commentaries on the murders. Now, enter trumpeter Donald Malloy, presenting his own divine inspiration through the medium of jazz.

Spirituality is a ten-part tone poem composed and arranged by Malloy for his talented sextet. Malloy funnels the themes of Coltrane and Simone into simple etheric themes that operate in a mantra-like manner. Malloy is no Miles Davis acolyte. While adopting the master's use of space and silence, Malloy opts for the piercing tone of Freddie Hubbard, tempered with Lee Morgan and Donald Byrd. Malloy's solos bristle with energy and a tone like bullets hitting a bell.

Tia Fuller's alto and soprano saxophones and flute are a tonal match for Malloy's assertive approach. "UpLift" is brightly updated hard bop with a mild Latin beat pushing Malloy and Fuller through the descending head. Fuller's alto is full-bodied and self assured. "Oshun" features pianist Michele Rosewoman and vocalist Barbara Barrett, who doubles Fuller's special flute on the theme. Malloy is placed far back as the voice in the wilderness to effect a multi-layered texture.

Spirituality is Malloy's answer to Coltrane and Simone, 45 year later, when much distance has been covered—with even more left to go.


Track Listing: Ibarago; Uplift; Oshun; Oba Intro; Oranmila; Nora East; On the Path; Baba Feruru; Shango; Oba.

Personnel: Donald Malloy: trumpet; Tia Fuller: alto and soprano saxophone; Seth Johnson: guitar; Shamie Royston: piano; Tom DiCarlo; bass; Rudy Royston: drums; Michele Rosewoman: piano on 3; Barbara Barret: vocals on 3 and 10.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "All Terrain Guitar" CD/LP/Track Review All Terrain Guitar
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 31, 2016
Read "Rub Out The Word" CD/LP/Track Review Rub Out The Word
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Friday Night in San Francisco" CD/LP/Track Review Friday Night in San Francisco
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "Inner Circle" CD/LP/Track Review Inner Circle
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 30, 2016
Read "Porgy and Bess Live" CD/LP/Track Review Porgy and Bess Live
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 8, 2016
Read "Stop Time" CD/LP/Track Review Stop Time
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!