Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Tony Malaby’s Tamarindo: Live

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Live has no business being so dull. The Tamarindo quartet comprises four bottomless wells of talent (tenor/soprano saxophonist Tony Malaby, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, bassist William Parker and drummer Nasheet Waits), joining here in a free session at the Jazz Gallery, one of New York’s most avant-friendly venues. It has all the right ingredients, but it lacks both energy and direction, is sometimes incoherent and often just spins its wheels.

What’s most frustrating is that each of the four long tracks offers a glimpse of real inspiration and then throws it away. On the opening “Buoyant Boy,” Malaby follows a shockingly disconnected Smith solo with a strident soprano that locks immediately into Parker and Waits’ groove. But the synergy doesn’t result in compelling lines or even isolated phrases. Smith adopts that same role on “Death Rattle,” and even momentarily sparks Malaby. But they only fade into raspy sighs that resemble distant, listless foghorns more than death rattles. It’s the sound of wasted opportunity.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published