Tony Malaby, Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten, and Nasheet Waits | Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Tony Malaby, Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten, and Nasheet Waits Free All Ages Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Mon., Oct. 20, 7 p.m. 2008

To appreciate the range of New York saxophonist Tony Malaby, you only have to compare his two most recent trio outings. On the 2004 disc Adobe (Sunnyside), a postbop date with drummer Paul Motian and bassist Drew Gress, he travels audaciously far afield from the tunes, but no matter how many layers of abstraction he adds to his phrases or how far he pushes his sound into dissipation and dissonance, he never loses track of the elegantly crafted melodies. This approach has kept him busy as a sideman—with Mark Helias, Chris Lightcap, and Mario Pavone, among others—but it’s hardly all he can do. Though Malaby plays with his characteristic emotional warmth and billowy, striated tone on last year’s Tamarindo (Clean Feed), with bassist William Parker and drummer Nasheet Waits, he seems to be following his instincts rather than any blueprint—he’s credited as composer, but the music often sounds totally free. It rises and falls via spontaneous collisions, its melodic cells tossed around and reconfigured and its most furious passages shattering open to settle into contemplative conversation; throughout Malaby tends the fire carefully, preventing it from turning into an out-of-control inferno. Here he's joined by Waits and bassist Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten. —Peter Margasak

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