Tony Malaby - tenor saxophone
Marc Hannaford - piano
William Parker - bass
Billy Mintz - drums
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, and Nasheet Waits. 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, Mark Helias' Open Loose,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 Tamrindo, 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.**
Described by Jason Moran as a pianist who has “taken full control of the music histories that interest him: from Messaien to Earl Hines…with a new sound that only comes from within him,” Marc Hannaford has established himself in the New York jazz and improvised music scene since his arrival from Australia in 2013. He has performed and recorded with improvised music luminaries such as Tim Berne, Tom Rainey, Mark Helias, Tony Malaby, Jen Shyu, and Ellery Eskelin. His most recent release, Can You See With Two Sets of Eyes? was pronounced “advanced, contemporary, improvised, virtuosic music might sound like, a decade or more into the future” (The Weekend Australian).
Marc won the 2013 Music Council of Australia’s Freedman Fellowship, the 2013 Jazz “Bell” award for most original album (Sarcophile), and the 2013 Australian Performing Rights Association’s Art Award for best work (“Anda Two”). Other awards and nominations have come from the National Jazz Awards, The A.R.I.A. awards, The AIR awards, The Australia Council for the Arts, the Ian Potter Foundation, University of Melbourne, and the International Song Contest.
Marc current resides in New York. He has performed at lauded New York venues The Stone, The Jazz Gallery, Spectrum, Greenwich Music House, Cornelia Street Café, Barbès, and Ibeam, and in Australia under the auspices of The Wangaratta Festival of Jazz, The Stonnington Jazz Festival, Jazzgroove, The Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival, The Melbourne Jazz Co-operative, The Make-It-Up Club, The Sydney Improvised Music Association. His collaborators have included Tony Malaby, Tom Rainey, Tim Berne, Scott Tinkler, Ingrid Laubrock, Anna Webber, Simon Barker, John Rodgers, Ken Edie, Satoshi Takeishi, Simon Jermyn, and Ben Gerstein.
A recording of his twenty-minute work, “Fainter, Stronger,” commissioned by the Monash Art Ensemble, will be released in 2019, and he is currently working on material for trio, solo piano with electronics, and chamber ensembles.