Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

348

Tony Malaby's Apparitions: Voladores

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
New York-based tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby's seventh album as a leader, Voladores, is named after the visually stunning Mexican dance troupes he saw while growing up in Tucson, Arizona. Inspired by their celebratory rhythmic fervor, he employs a dynamic dual drummer-based quartet on this date, revisiting the heavily percussive line-up of his 2003 sophomore release, Apparitions (Songlines).

Bassist Drew Gress and drummer Tom Rainey return from the earlier session, with second drummer Michael Sarin replaced by percussionist and composer John Hollenbeck—the mercurial creative engine behind Malaby's exotic Warblepeck (Songlines, 2008). Serving as colorist rather than polyrhythmic timekeeper, Hollenbeck's kaleidoscopic accents augment Rainey's propulsive trap set ruminations and provide rich harmonic detail to Gress' melodious musings, expanding the group's palette considerably. The rhythm section's bustling, yet tonally harmonious undercurrent allows Malaby unprecedented freedom, similar to John Coltrane's later period work.

One of the most significant tenor saxophonists working today, Malaby's singular technique makes him one of the foremost improvisers of his generation. Where many of his peers mistake histrionics for intensity, Malaby values subtleties in volume, timbre and tone above dexterity and speed. Though his melodious phrasing often careens at a quicksilver pace, his nuanced attention to detail sets him apart from the masses of post-Coltrane acolytes. His supple, breathy embouchure lends "Lilas" a sublime air of introspection, while the roiling turbulence of his taut intervallic cadences amplifies the jagged contours of "Old Smokey."

Malaby reveals his plangent lyricism from the start, opening the session with a vibrant rendition of Ornette Coleman's previously unrecorded "Homogenous Emotions." Ripe with multiphonic soprano glissandos, sinewy arco drones and militaristic percussion retorts, the mysteriously ritualistic "East Bay" invokes the early experimental narratives of the AACM, establishing his aesthetic lineage with the sixties New Thing and seventies Loft Scene. "Dreamy Drunk" is similarly structured, a languid epic that ascends from bluesy ethereal discourse to impassioned, muscular collectivism.

The labyrinthine "Old Smokey" spotlights the rhythm section's uncanny listening skills and intuitive communal discourse as they navigate intricate meters and modulating tempos, spurred on by Malaby's increasingly frenetic tenor. Framed by Gress' buoyant runs and Rainey's acute sense of timing, Hollenbeck's effervescent accents provide abstruse syncopation to "Los Voladores," while his lilting melodica swells and clattering percussion underscore the loping funk vibe of the soprano-driven "Sour Diesel."

Three brief group improvisations highlight the quartet's congenial rapport, providing spare pointillist interludes that counterbalance the album's dense episodic detours. Another stellar addition to an impressively diverse and expanding discography, Voladores is further proof of Malaby's growing importance as an artist of note.


Track Listing: Homogeneous Emotions; Old Smokey; Dreamy Drunk; Can't Sleep; Sour Diesel; Los Voladores; Are You Sure?; YeSsssssss; Wake Up, Smell the Sumatra; East Bay; Lilas.

Personnel: Tony Malaby: tenor and soprano saxophone; Drew Gress: acoustic bass; Tom Rainey: drums; John Hollenbeck: drums, percussion, marimba, vibraphone, xylophone, glockenspiel, melodica, small kitchen appliances.

Title: Voladores | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Incantations

Incantations

Clean Feed Records
2016

buy
Scorpion Eater

Scorpion Eater

Clean Feed Records
2015

buy
 

Novela

Clean Feed Records
2011

buy
 

Paloma Recio

New World Records
2010

buy
 

Voladores

Clean Feed Records
2010

buy
 

Twines of Colesion

Clean Feed Records
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Without You CD/LP/Track Review
Without You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Internal Combustion CD/LP/Track Review
Internal Combustion
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Chant Triptych II CD/LP/Track Review
Chant Triptych II
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Oasis CD/LP/Track Review
Oasis
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Les Oiseaux de Matisse CD/LP/Track Review
Les Oiseaux de Matisse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Drum Solos For Dancers Only CD/LP/Track Review
Drum Solos For Dancers Only
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 18, 2018
Read "Phrases" CD/LP/Track Review Phrases
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 12, 2018
Read "The More I See You" CD/LP/Track Review The More I See You
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 29, 2018
Read "Solo vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Solo vol. 1
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 10, 2018
Read "Flow Vertical" CD/LP/Track Review Flow Vertical
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 21, 2018
Read "Tristeza on Guitar" CD/LP/Track Review Tristeza on Guitar
by Chris May
Published: June 28, 2018
Read "Let Your Light Shine On" CD/LP/Track Review Let Your Light Shine On
by Chris May
Published: May 27, 2018