460

Tony Malaby Cello Trio: Warblepeck

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Tony Malaby Cello Trio: Warblepeck A ubiquitous presence in New York's fertile jazz scene, saxophonist Tony Malaby has appeared on over fifty albums since Sabino (Arabesque, 2000), his debut as a leader. With unfaltering drive and boundless creativity, his impassioned playing has graced numerous Downtown collectives, with early stints spent in Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra and Paul Motian's Electric Be-Bop Band.

The unconventional instrumentation featured on Warblepeck is unique in Malaby's budding discography, especially for an artist usually found fronting traditional small acoustic combos. Joined by avant cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and melodic percussionist John Hollenbeck, the unorthodox yet versatile combination of Lonberg-Holm's electronic EFX and Hollenbeck's arsenal of exotic percussion reveals a session rich in kaleidoscopic textures and tones.

Drawing inspiration from art forms unrelated to jazz, Malaby's interest in Stan Brakhage's abstract films, Cy Twombly's expressionistic paintings and the silent films of Buster Keaton influences his narrative phrasing and thematic concept on this audaciously experimental record. Sidestepping the typical pitfalls of the saxophone tradition, he elicits a variety of cadences on his horns. His gruff tenor veers from pointillist accents ("Anemonie") to vociferous grunts ("Warblepeck") while his sinuous soprano pivots between lyrical glissandos ("Scribble Boy") and fervent chromaticism ("Remolino").

Hollenbeck's creative virtuosity has yielded partnerships with artists as diverse as composer Meredith Monk and pianist Satoko Fujii. From effervescent xylophone cadences and scintillating glockenspiel accents to pulverizing trap set salvos, he unveils an endlessly fascinating array of sound. His tuneful abilities materialize on a haunting cover of Bill Frisell's "Waiting Inside," as his bittersweet melodica strains intermesh with sonorous cello and understated tenor.

A stalwart member of the Chicago scene, Longberg-Holm has his first meeting here with Malaby and Hollenbeck. A classically trained cellist with a supple acoustic technique and a predilection for electronic EFX, he conjures surging feedback, oscillating loops and distorted power chords from his amplified instrument. His overdriven double stops on "Two Shadows" and "Sky Church" summon metallic sheets of sound, goading Malaby's ferocious tenor and Hollenbeck's pneumatic drum kit into a frenzy. Conversely, his insectoid blips and bleeps on "Jackhat 1" and "Jackhat 2" intertwine with Hollenbeck's shimmering accents and the leader's multiphonic fragments, weaving a spectral panorama.

Malaby's desire to break free from the "athletic, picture-perfect" view of contemporary jazz finds accord in this unbridled setting. Embracing the process, rather than the finished product, Malaby's Cello Trio integrates their improvisational working method into their core aesthetic, finding beauty in the mystery of spontaneous creation.

A playful excursion into the possibilities of sound influenced by the visual arts, Warblepeck is a fascinating electro-acoustic effort and Malaby's most personal and adventurous recording to date.


Track Listing: Warblepeck; Jackhat 1; Two Shadows; Waiting Inside; Fly on Wall/Remolino; Anemone; Anemone Vamp; Sky Church; Scribble Boy; Jackhat 2; Chicotaso.

Personnel: Tony Malaby: tenor and soprano saxophones; Fred Lonberg-Holm: cello and electronics; John Hollenbeck: drums, marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel, melodica, small kitchen appliances.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Songlines Recordings | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Untitled" CD/LP/Track Review Untitled
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 15, 2016
Read "Hear & Now" CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Holding The Stage: Road Shows, Vol. 4" CD/LP/Track Review Holding The Stage: Road Shows, Vol. 4
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 17, 2016
Read "Seasons 1-4 Live" CD/LP/Track Review Seasons 1-4 Live
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "Fly South" CD/LP/Track Review Fly South
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 10, 2016
Read "Blow" CD/LP/Track Review Blow
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 1, 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!