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Tony Malaby: The Cave of Winds


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Tony Malaby: The Cave of Winds
Veteran of Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band, Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra and many of Kris Davis' intriguing forays, saxophonist Tony Malaby is by far no stranger to the other side of the music where paradigms slip from measure to measure, not to note. So The Cave of Winds, Malaby's dust-up with his electric quartet Sabino, follows a grandly familiar arc but sounds like nothing before it, and quite possibly like nothing that will come after it.

Potent participants in the active dance, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tom Rainey resume their inquisitive duties from their 2000 debut, Sabino (Arabesque) while guitarist Ben Monder replaces Marc Ducret. It's a sonic sleigh ride. Rough edges fray the smooth bopsody of "Corinthian Leather," a loosely interpreted mash borne of Dizzy Gillespie's 1944 dancehall rave, "Woody 'n You." The tune might start boppy enough but soon the winds change into a Monder charged rout— an interesting turn of events.

"Recrudescence" hints, whispers, moans. It harkens past and present. It conducts itself like lava down a mountain. Monder again seems to take charge but in this open environment, it's anyone's guess and anyone's stance to take. So they challenge each other. Malaby calling out above the maelstrom, while Formanek and Rainey throw their muscle into creating a bigger storm, which Monder darkens with smears of rock guitar chatter on the (intentional? unintentional?) homage to Neil Young and Crazy Horse "Scratch the Horse."

The inspiration for all the music on The Cave of Winds— "Insect Ward," the title track, "Life Coach (for Helias)" and ("Just Me, Just Me")—comes from pop-up pandemic jam sessions that Malaby led under a turnpike overpass near his home in Jersey, and it sure as hell sounds like it. The city's prevailing ill-winds howling beneath the underpass are met and countered by the power of each individual act upon the idea that unity equals strength. And from strength comes resistance. And from resistance new things emerge.

Track Listing

Corinthian Leather; Recrudescence; Scratch the Horse; Insect Ward; The Cave of Winds; Life Coach (for Helias); Just Me, Just Me.


Tony Malaby: saxophone, tenor; Ben Monder: guitar; Michael Formanek: bass, acoustic; Tom Rainey: drums.

Album information

Title: The Cave of Winds | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Pyroclastic Records

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