NY Saxophonist Tony Malaby's Paloma Recio with Ben Monder on guitar, Eivind Opsvik on double bass, and Nasheet Waits on drums in a studio album performing Malaby's 4-part "Incantation Suite", lyrically free improvisation with a shimmering essence invoking dreamlike states.
Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF 367CD
Squidco Product Code: 22121
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Recorded March 16th, 2015 at Systems Two by Joe Marciano and Max Ross.
Tony Malaby-tenor saxophone, soprano saxophones
Eivind Opsvik-double bass
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1. Glass 9:16
2. Artifact 10:30
3. Hive 10:31
4. Procedure 17:37
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sample the album:
"One critic said it all: if someone like Joe Lovano is the jazz equivalent to The Beatles, than Tony Malaby's rock analogy are The Rolling Stones. What does that mean? Simple, it means that the saxophonist and composer leading the band Paloma Recio is a wild card, always doing what you don't expect him to do. If you still think that categories like "mainstream" and "avant-garde" are at war with each other, think again.
To Malaby, they're two sides of the same coin or not even that: he brings the jazz tradition to an approach committed to open form and he deals experimentally with history, his own history as a first generation Mexican-American born. His band with Ben Monder, Eivind Opsvik and Nasheet Waits play Hyspanic-tinged melodies with an African-American envelope, but preferring to use graphic notation instead of conventional scores. This way, he doesn't define anything too much and he frees harmony and improvisation from fixed constraints.
The music sounds fresh, alive and vibrant, new but with deep roots in jazz soil. And yes, "Incantation Suite" is very different from the homonymous CD by the quartet, released in 2009: the future touched it. Let it touch you too."-Clean Feed Records
"Perhaps you've heard it said that the saxophone is the musical instrument that most closely resembles the human voice. If you're inclined to put that notion to the test, start with Tony Malaby, a tenor and soprano saxophonist with a fervent, pleading sound. His intense new album is called "Incantations," and he doesn't come by that title lightly.
Mr. Malaby, 52, has been a heavy lifter in New York jazz circles for the last 20 years, working mostly in an experimental mode. "Incantations" is his four-part suite for Paloma Recio, a limber and volatile quartet with the guitarist Ben Monder, the bassist Eivind Opsvik and the drummer Nasheet Waits, all expert shape-shifters.
From the start, "Incantations" is emphatically an ensemble piece rather than a heroic platform for a soloist. The overture, "Glass," opens in dreamy quietude, with bowed bass and pinging guitar harmonics; Mr. Malaby appears only after several minutes, projecting his soprano in a strong, focused beam. What follows is a collective expedition governed by turbulence and composure.
Compositional form plays peekaboo here and throughout the suite. A track called "Artifact" makes use of a swinging pulse and a slinky melody - with passing nods to "Trinkle, Tinkle," by Thelonious Monk - but it also accommodates layered electronic effects and a free-form rhythmic roil. "Hive" has a solo soprano prologue by Mr. Malaby, followed by a quietly creeping figure for the rhythm section, which gradually enlarges and escalates.
Mr. Monder, a sonic wizard heard to indelible effect on recent work by David Bowie and Guillermo Klein, has a deep rapport with Mr. Malaby: Depending on the moment, they can seem like dance partners, sparring partners or members of a relay team. What they create on "Procedure," met at every turn by Mr. Opsvik and Mr. Waits, is a hallucinatory epic, indebted both to free-jazz avatars like Albert Ayler and the combustible side of prog-rock.
That track, nearly 18 minutes long, follows an inexorable arc. Mr. Opsvik sets up a theme alone, and the others join the party in fitful turns: brushes on a snare drum, a spidery phrase on the fretboard, a honk and a cluck on tenor saxophone. There are surges and digressions, including a caterwauling duet between drums and tenor, before the bracing last few minutes - a climactic resolution in which Mr. Malaby rightly seems to be screaming through his horn."-Nate Chinen, New York Times
• Show Bio for Eivind Opsvik
"Born in Oslo, bassist and composer Eivind Opsvik was introduced to music at home. His father loved to play the saxophone and constantly spun records-everything from Ornette Coleman to Billie Holiday and The Beatles. An early memory features Eivind on drums, jamming out "A Hard Day's Night" with his father. Later, a denim-clad rocker cousin lent him a bass guitar and the newfound ability of adding pitch to rhythm was a revelation. Opsvik spent the rest of his teens getting to know this instrument, as well as the double bass, while also experimenting with a 4-track tape recorder and pouring music into his head.
At the age of twenty, Opsvik began studies at the Norwegian Academy of Music, focusing on classical bass. By then, he was already an active participant in Oslo's vibrant jazz scene, regularly playing with musicians like Paal Nilssen-Love, Christian Wallumrød, Bjørnar Andresen, and Håkon Kornstad; while also performing at festivals and clubs around Europe.
In 1998, Opsvik relocated to New York City, where he has thrived as a working musician, collaborating on projects with among others Anthony Braxton, Paul Motian, John Zorn, Nate Wooley, and Bill Frisell and performing in a wide range of venues like Carnegie Hall, Village Vanguard, Le Poisson Rouge and The Stone. At the Manhattan School of Music he studied jazz and met some of his closest musical brothers, including Loren Stillman, Jeff Davis, and Jacob Sacks. Building on the bonds and shared musical understanding that developed while at school, Eivind invited these players to help him fulfill his vision for the solo project, Overseas.
Opsvik has stated that "overseas" is a fitting way of describing his life-whether in New York or Norway, he is always an ocean's distance from home. This deep loyalty towards friends and loved ones has, over time, been reflected in Overseas' various lineups. The first record was realized with the help of long-term friendships that went back to Opsvik's earliest days in New York. As he continued his journey through the city via late night gigs, Opsvik connected with other players-visionaries versed in noise improv, electronic, jazz, and classical-who, on subsequent Overseas records, were brought in to augment the lineup. Since 2005, the band has remained consistent, featuring Tony Malaby, Jacob Sacks, and Kenny Wollesen; in 2010, guitarist Brandon Seabrook also became a regular member. Over the years, they have played countless shows around New York City, as well as extensively toured Europe and the American east coast.
In addition to four Overseas albums and his extensive session work, Opsvik's discography also includes four experimental chamber-pop records made in collaboration with songwriter Aaron Jennings (under the moniker of Opsvik & Jennings) and a multimedia project with photographer Michelle Arcila, which pairs tens songs with ten photographic prints. This project, titled A Thousand Ancestors, came out of Opsvik's solo double bass performances, which sometimes featured projections of Arcila's photographs. In recording these bass-centric pieces, he would layer bass with subtle overdubs of lap steel guitar, vintage keyboards, and drum machines, with Arcila's prints displayed around the studio. The project proved to be an auspicious collaboration for the couple, who, as The New York Times put it, "share an aesthetic of haunting introspection, and the desire to seek out beauty in austerity."
Other critics have described Opsvik's work as "sonorous," "like a waking dream," and able "to transport the listener to another time and place, creating a cinematic experience...[like] the soundtrack to an imaginary film." His Overseas records create "a world of unfolding soundscapes" that defy categorization; they have "a compositional complexity that suggests jazz, [but] also references a diverse and imaginative palette of genres and influences." Opsvik's jazz is "the slow burn, down-turned variety that still has plenty of beauty underneath all of its darker undertones." But it's not just jazz for jazz-heads. By tapping into the energy, groove, and directness of rock, Opsvik reach people who are afraid of jazz and think they have to "understand" it.
Ultimately, Opsvik is the epitome of a multi-faceted, multi-instrumentalist working musician. While steadily playing gigs and recording sessions as a bass player, he is also a capable hand on the guitar, the keyboard, or behind the drums. At the Greenwood Underground, his basement studio, Opsvik records, mixes, and produces his own music, as well as various projects for his friends. Since 2007, he has also been running the Loyal Label, releasing a carefully curated catalog of albums, which run the gamut in terms of musical exploration but are all united with careful aesthetic choices and creative graphic design.
Maturing as a musician, Eivind never wanted to be up front in the band, but it would be incorrect to say he's been hiding. As a kid, watching bands perform on Norway's only TV channel, his gaze was instinctively drawn to the rhythm section, waiting for the camera to move the tight frame off the singer so that he could catch a glimpse of the bass player's steady hands or the drummer's hypnotic concentration. The rhythm section were the guys with their heads down doing the real work. Adolescent instincts are pure in that they don't know why they want what they want, but the quiet and focused dignity that Eivind honed in on has driven his life for the past 30 years.
(Eivind is currently a member of these bands/projects: Tony Malaby's Paloma Recio, Die Trommel Fatale, Nate Wooley Quintet, Skuli Sverrison's Seria, Two Miles A Day (Sacks, Maneri, Motian), Anthony Braxton's Tristano Project, Vinnie Sperrazza's Apocryphal, David Binney, Okkyung Lee, Jeff Davis Trio with Russ Lossing, Mary Halvorson's Reverse Blue, Plainville, Kris Davis' Capricorn Climber, Håkon Kornstad, Rocket Engine, Tone Collector, Jesse Harris' Cosmo, The Interaction of Non-Interaction (w Ben Gerstein), Poor Pluto ...and more)"-Eivind Opsvik Website (http://eivindopsvik.com/)
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