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Tony Malaby Cello Trio: Warblepeck

It’s not difficult to discern why Tony Malaby’s new album is called Warblepeck. Bird sounds are clearly referenced throughout, approximated less by Malaby’s tenor and soprano saxophones and more by the cello and electronic manipulation of Fred Lonberg-Holm and the panoply of percussive toys employed by the versatile drummer John Hollenbeck.

What a wildly diverse collection of tunes that constitute Warblepeck. The title track, which opens the disc, recalls the soundtrack to Black Orpheus, its sambalike 6/8 rhythm underpinned by layers of percussion and punctuated by short bursts from Malaby’s tenor. He takes a different tack on the brief “Jackhat 1,” blowing long screeches over Hollenbeck’s xylophone plinks and Lonberg-Holm’s electronic chirping. Lonberg-Holm gets a good deal of variety from his cello across the album: bowing, plucking, sawing with electric distortion. He’ll sound like Yo-Yo Ma on “Waiting Inside” and Jimi Hendrix on “Two Shadows.”

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