THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25, PONCHO CONCERT HALL, CORNISH COLLEGE, 8PM
Tony Malaby's Tamarindo
Tom Varner Quartet
$18 general/$16 Earshot members & seniors/$8 students
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Tamarindo is the sensational New York trio of Tony Malaby (tenor), the great William Parker (bass) and Mark Ferber (drums).
Strictly original – no covers or American songbook standards: “Twisting triumvirate coursing to the finish line,” bassist Mark Helias writes poetically in the liner notes of Tamarindo, the trio’s self-titled debut on Clean Feed, 2007. Five years later, Tucson-born tenor and soprano saxophonist Tony Malaby brings the project here.
Malaby is a frequent flyer to Earshot events, appearing on stages here since the late 1990s. He’s been a member of many notable jazz groups, including Charlie Haden’s Liberation Orchestra, Paul Motian’s Electric Bebop Band, Fred Hersch’s Walt Whitman project. Malaby also has led several projects of his own, including his Apparitions projects with Drew Gress and Tom Rainey, Michael Sarin and John Hollenbeck.
Bronx-native bassist William Parker anchors the harmony for Tamarindo. Parker studied with bassists Richard Davis, Art Davis, Milt Hinton, Wilbur Ware and Jimmy Garrison. A legendary and powerful collaborator in the U.S. and European avant-garde, Parker’s work includes a decade-long stint with pianist Cecil Taylor, collaborations with drummers Hamid Drake, Milford Graves and Rashied Ali, and work on New York’s Vision Festival. He has taught at Bennington College, NYU, the New England Conservatory of Music, Cal Arts, New School University and Rotterdam Conservatory of Music. Parker is also a composer, playwright and poet.
The original incarnation of Tamarindo included drummer Nasheet Waits. This time around, Mark Ferber occupies the drum throne. Ferber studied with Billy Higgins and Joe LaBarbara. Now living in Brooklyn, Ferber is an auxiliary faculty member at City College of New York.
Opening for Tamarindo is newly appointed Cornish faculty member and French horn player Tom Varner and Seattle saxophonist Eric Barber, bassist Phil Sparks and drummer Byron Vannoy. The group celebrates the legacy of the late Steve Lacy, with whom Varner performed in Seattle in 1993. Tonight’s program also includes Varner’s arrangements of tunes by Lacy’s favorite composers, Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk.
Varner studied with pianist Jaki Byard, composer George Russell and saxophonist Steve Lacy; organized the Julius Watkins French Horn Festival at Cornish; appears on more than 70 recordings; and performs with the Washington Composers Orchestra, Jim Knapp Orchestra, Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, and his own quartet, nonet and tentet.
Before moving to Seattle in 2005, Varner lived in New York, where he performed with Tony Malaby. Malaby appears on two of Varner’s CDs. Varner writes to me that he’s excited by the potential to have Malaby join in on a tune with Barber, Sparks and Vannoy.