January 20, 2016

Exposure: Tony Malaby Trio, Quartet and Large Group

Elastic Arts is happy to announce a special residency by New York-based saxophonist Tony Malaby in March.  Malaby will be working with ten of Chicago’s most active improvising musicians to rehearse and perform new work.


Tony Malaby has been a mainstay in the NY scene since the 90’s and has worked with Charlie Haden, Paul Motian, and Fred Hersch, among many others.  He currently leads a trio with bassist William Parker and drummer Nasheet Waits which has been compared to a “very free version of the Sonny Rollins unit with Wilbur Ware and Elvin Jones that recorded A Night at the Village Vanguard some 57 years ago” by All About Jazz.  Full Bio below.



This residency is part of a new initiative by Elastic Arts to expose Chicago-based practitioners of improvised music to a variety of processes and working methods used by significant international artists working at the forefront of the international creative music field through a period of intensive rehearsal and performance, and to encourage an exchange of ideas and approaches that will have a long-term impact on both the local scene and the visiting artists.



Malaby will also present 2 improvisation workshops to engage younger and emerging improvising musicians and share concepts and practice techniques.  The workshops will be given on Wed 3/23 2:30-5:30pm and Thurs 3/24 4-7pm.  Each workshop is $35 and includes admission to both the Thursday and Friday concerts.  Space is limited.  Advance tickets to each workshop can be purchased here for the price of $30 until March 9th.



Thursday March 24th 9PM $10*


Tony Malaby – saxophones
Fred Lonberg-Holm – cello
Michael Zerang – percussion


Tony Malaby Quartet

Tony Malaby – saxophones
Paul Giallorenzo – piano
Jason Roebke – bass
Charles Rumback – drums


Friday March 25th 9PM $15*

Tony Malaby Large Group

Tony Malaby – saxophones
Dave Rempis – saxophones
Josh Berman – cornet
Jason Stein – bass clarinet
Jason Adasiewicz – vibraphone
Fred Lonberg-Holm – cello
Paul Giallorenzo – piano/electronics
Jason Roebke – bass
Tim Daisy – drums
Charles Rumback – drums


Advance Tickets can be purchased here:


3/24 Trio/Quartet
3/25 Large Group


*$20 ticket grants admission to both concerts.
*$50 ticket grants admission to both concerts plus a special happy hour with the artists before Friday’s concert from 8-9pm.


Tony Malaby

In his two decades as an integral member of the thriving improvised music community of New York City, saxophonist and composer Tony Malaby has emerged as a wholly unique and singular voice. Malaby was recently named one of Downbeat’s “80 Coolest Things in Jazz”, saying that, “[Malaby] is a formidably accomplished soprano and tenor saxophonist with enviable tone and an endless font of compelling ideas, yet he steers his music away from perfection,” and that “his considerable gifts as a melodist tend to sneak up on you.” Jazztimes added that Malaby is “a hero of today’s improvised music scene”.


This outpour of praise is unsurprising given the number of projects which Malaby has been involved with since his arrival in New York in the early-1990s. In recent years, Malaby has led and recorded many of his own projects–his Tamarindo Trio with Nasheet Waits and William Parker, TubaCello with John Hollenbeck, Chris Hoffman and Dan Peck and Palomo Recio with Ben Monder, Eivind Opsvik, Dan Weiss, Billy Mintz and Ben Gerstein. Malaby is also a stalwart sideman, and has lent his talents to such groups as the Paul Motian Electric Be-Bop Band, Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, Fred Hersch’s Quintet, Chris Lightcap’s Bigmouth, Eivind Opsvik’s Overseas and Ches Smith’s These Arches.


Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Malaby’s Mexican heritage permeates his musical life. Malaby remembers that, “being a kid, in 1970s Tucson, was very Mexican. There was an atmosphere created there with music, rituals -going to mass,funerals,praying the rosary, plumes of incense smoke …all of these things, and how they would overlap, have lingered. I really think that’s who I am: that’s how I came up. And there’s really strong imagery for me, from back then. I try to communicate those experiences, with my sound and how I play.” Malaby’s vivid improvisational work and his sparse, folklike melodies clearly convey these youthful impressions, and are part-and-parcel with his idiosyncratic musical concept. Malaby has dubbed all of projects with Spanish names and that atmosphere pervades all of his recordings.


Malaby has been recording for the Clean Feed label since the 2007 self-titled debut release of his Tamarindo trio, and since that point, he has released a string of records under his own name for Clean Feed: Voladores, a quartet record featuring drummers Tom Rainey, John Hollenbeck, and Drew Gress; the ambitious nonet record Novela, in which Malaby’s compositions were arranged by the gifted composer and pianist Kris Davis; and 2010’s Tamarindo Live which featured Tamarindo, with the addition of legendary AACM trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith.


In May of 2014, Malaby released his latest record with his Tamarindo trio, Somos Agua, which serves to further solidify the telepathic improvisational connection that he has fostered with Parker and Waits since the band’s inception. Unlike many saxophonists who ostentatiously place themselves in front, or solo on top of, a rhythm section, Tamarindo evidences a long-held belief and practice of Malaby’s in which he texturally immerses himself within the sounds of his bandmates and the result is, what Malaby called, “an organic, self-generating whole”.


In the forthcoming months, Malaby will release the debut record of his TubaCello band on Clean Feed records as well as continuing his extensive touring with Tamarindo and TubaCello in 2015. Palomo Recio will record by the end of the year and a solo record is in the works, too.