Saxophonist Tony Malaby releases a 21st century version of Sonny Rollins' The Bridge (RCA Victor, 1962). During Rollins' three year voluntary hiatus from performing in the later '50s, he took to practicing on the Williamsburg Bridge near his Lower East Side neighborhood. Malaby, a resident of Jersey City in 2020, was also on a hiatus of sorts, an involuntary one. The pandemic had cancelled all performances, so he took to practicing under a turnpike overpass and soon invited other musicians to join him. The traffic noise, swirling winds, sirens and birds were the inspiration for the saxophonist to reunite his quartet Sabino, the title of his first release as a leader in 2000. Three quarters of the original Sabino lineup, Malaby, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tom Rainey, released the excellent Live At The 55 Bar (Sunnyside, 2021), an all improvised live date from March 2020. Here, Sabino's original guitarist Marc Ducret (quarantined in France) is replaced by Monder for this June 2020 studio session. Malaby penned six of the seven tracks here, alternating between the swinging "Corinthian Leather" and the abstraction of "Recrudescence" and the title track. This inside-outside approach to music-making exhibits just how hungry the quartet were to interact, perform, and improvise. Monder exorcises a few demons with the monster shred which opens "Scratch The Horse" and acts to ignite Malaby's overblowing heavy metal saxophone. Elsewhere Malaby employs a frenetic soprano saxophone against Formanek's bowed bass on "Insect Ward" and the 18-minute title track eases back in an unhurried exploration of sound.
Corinthian Leather; Recrudescence; Scratch the Horse; Insect Ward; The Cave of Winds; Life Coach (for Helias); Just Me, Just Me.