Tony Malaby

Cosas

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Cosas finds the estimable tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby early in his career in the company of the equally adept Joey Sellers on trombone. The pair, backed by the sympathetic rhythm team of drummer Billy Mintz and bassist Michael Formanek, engage in a series of evocative musical conversation pieces. Each tune summons a mood from the buoyant bop of "Terrible Twos" to the melancholy of "Matriarchal Conspirator," and the two hornmen weave their improvisations from the melodic strands. Even on the percussive "Billy Tune" (not surprisingly by Mintz), Malaby keeps asserting the theme's central rhythmic figure amidst his probing melodic riffs. Sellers' ride on the slinky "Mesopotamian Love God," a tune that borrows melodic fragments from, of all songs, "Girl Talk," finds him exercising his skills to the fullest, delivering long lines of plump notes punctuated by rips and smears. The front line's ability to extemporize together, as on "Shimmering Shibboleths" is a testament to the unity of vision that informs this set of intense, thematic improvisation.

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