Preview: Tony Malaby/ Olie Brice / Jeff Williams (13-15 May)

Tony Malaby

Olie Brice writes:

I'm really excited about a short run of gigs coming up with two wonderful musicians, Tony Malaby and Jeff Williams. On May 13th we'll be playing at one of my favourite venues, the Vortex in London, before going on to play in Dublin (14th) and Belfast (15th).

I've been a huge fan of saxophonist Tony Malaby's playing since I first heard him on the Fred Hersch album 'Trio + 2'. He's both a great changes player and a brilliant textural improviser. Not only does he do both things to a world-class standard, but they both seem to be central parts of what he's playing at any given moment. Described by 'All About Jazz' as 'one of the most distinctive artists of his time', he's a massively important and influential improviser and saxophonist. He leads some great bands, including Tamarindo (with William Parker and Nasheet Waits), Apparitions (with Drew Gress, Tom Rainey and John Hollenbeck) and Paloma Recio (with Ben Monder, Eivind Opsvik and Nasheet Waits). He's also been a side-man with some true giants of the music – Charlie Haden's 'Liberation Music Orchestra' and Paul Motian's 'Electric Bebop Band' to name just two.

Jeff Williams is an incredible drummer, and hopefully a very familiar name to readers of this website. He did some fascinating podcast interviews which can be heard starting here. One of my favourite musicians to play with, we work together in my band (album due out very soon!) as well as trios led by Mike Fletcher and Alex Bonney. Like Tony he is both a great jazz musician and truly open improviser, which is illustrated by the long list of people he's played with – Stan Getz, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Paul Bley, Dave Holland, Bill McHenry, Mary Halvorson and many, many more. Jeff and Tony have worked together before – they can be heard on a John O'Gallagher album called 'Line of Sight' (with John Hebert on bass) and a fantastic live recording on Jeff's website with Michael Formanek on bass.

There's not been many opportunities in London (or Dublin or Belfast, as far as I know!) to hear Tony live in a small venue and such an open context. He's been over in recent years playing the Barbican with Charlie Haden and the Southbank with Lucian Ban, but this should be a really special night in a more intimate setting. Hopefully see you there...

The details of the three gigs are as follows:

13/05/14 - The Vortex, 11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ. 8.30pm, £10
14/05/14 - Bello Bar, 1 Portobello Harbour, Dublin. 7.30pm, €14/12
15/05/14 - Black Box, 18-22 Hill Street, Belfast. 8.30pm, £12/10

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