He is sonic, he is time, he is gesture, writes contrabassist Mark Helias about Tony Malaby in his liner notes for Tamarindo. Helias knows his stuff. Malaby reputation as a complete tenor and soprano saxophonist continues to grow and his modesty and absolute dedication to his music have become legend. Without making a fuss he has become one of the most spectacular musicians on the New York scene. I’s not difficult to understand why he is so valued as a sideman and so respected as a leader. Unlike some saxophonists, his playing appears egoless. Malaby doesn’t use more notes than necessary to say what he has to say, he never shouts to be heard, and he gets out of the way of other players. This behavior reflects his personality, although he prefers to credit Tai Chi for his temperament. If the ancient Chinese martial art has indeed influenced his music, his music spirit is strongly rooted in jazz history. That said, Malaby is not burdened by the past; for him, tradition is food for creative work but nothing more. His companions on this wonderful record the much-in-demand rhythm section of William Parker and Nasheet Waits are, like Malaby, acutely aware of the past, yet inventors of the future.