“When Sonny Rollins released the album Saxophone Colossus (Prestige, 1956), he not only made the point that he loomed over all over saxophone players of his day; he made a spot-on statement about his music, in which he tended to dominate his sidemen. The Arizona-born, NYC-based saxophonist Tony Malaby likewise made a multi-faceted artistic declaration when he dubbed one of his combos Tamarindo.” Bill Meyer, Chicago Music.org
There’s a Portuguese saying which can be translated to “there is no two things without three”, and even if that’s not entirely true, the dictum is now confirmed by the third recording by that supertrio called Tamarindo, assembling Tony Malaby, William Parker and Nasheet Waits. Again, you have the poetic feeling transmitted by the chosen name for this project, but also the drive and the energy implicit in the one that was firstly thought to identify this music: Exploding Heart. Yes, each piece almost blows in your face, like an exotic fruit bursting in delicious juices. Critics already labeled it as a “high-impact free-form progressive jazz extravaganza”, but “Somos Água” is not simply more of the same. After “Tamarindo” and “Tamarindo Live”, both released by the Lisbon-based Clean Feed, you notice that the formula is perfected and matured. The music flows like a river, surpassing all the obstacles put against its currents, and it happens in the most natural of ways, even if you know that those rocks and branches were disposed there with purpose. Here’s an astonishing release, confirming Tony Malaby as one of the living heroes of the saxophone and revealing all the motives why Parker and Waits are two fundamental voices of today’s jazz creativity.