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Thu, Feb 27


Merrimans' Playhouse

John Tate with Tony Malaby & Charles Rumback

NYC Jazz bassist and composer John Tate debuts his new trio, comprised of legendary saxophonist Tony Malaby, for an evening of intimate composed and improvised music.

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John Tate with Tony Malaby & Charles Rumback
John Tate with Tony Malaby & Charles Rumback

Time & Location

Feb 27, 2020, 8:00 PM – 10:05 PM EST

Merrimans' Playhouse, 1211 Mishawaka Ave, South Bend, IN 46615, USA


About the Event

Established New York City Jazz bassist and composer John Tate debuts his new trio, comprised of legendary saxophonist Tony Malaby (Fred Hersch, Charlie Haden, Paul Motian) and drummer Charles Rumback (Ron Miles, Jeff Parker) to Merrimans' Playhouse for an evening of intimate composed and improvised music. This special performance will premier multiple new compositions by Tate and is truly an evening not to be missed. 

An established member of New York City’s creative music scene, bassist, composer, and educator John Tate has performed throughout North America, Central America, South America, Europe, China and Australia with musicians including Von Freeman, George Freeman, Matt Wilson, Marquis Hill, Tony Malaby, Ron Miles, Ben Monder, Jeff Parker, John Chin, Sacha Perry, Bill Carrothers, Victor Goines, Caroline Davis and Billy Kaye, among others. Tate holds a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Performance from Northern Illinois University and an Artist Diploma in Jazz Studies from the Juilliard School. During his time at Juilliard, Tate was an apprentice of distinguished bassist and pedagogue Ron Carter.

Chicago drummer Charles Rumback: In addition to leading his own trio with Jim Baker and John Tate, Charles frequently collaborates with artists such as John Hughes, Fred Lonberg-Holm,Bill MacKay, Nick Macri, Tony Malaby, Douglas McCombs, RonMiles, Nina Nastasia, James Singleton, Macie Stewart, Ryley Walker & Greg Ward to name a few. Though his role often varies from project to project, Charles can be found accompanying songs, pushing the ensemble in free-improvised settings, or creating sonic landscapes all from behind the drums. Originally from Kansas, Charles moved to Chicago in 2001 and has played on many recordings as a sideman and collaborator, performing around the United States, Europe and Japan.

In his two decades as an integral member of the thriving improvised music community of New York City, saxophonist and composer Tony Malaby has emerged as a wholly unique and singular voice. Malaby was recently named one of Downbeat’s “80 Coolest Things in Jazz”, saying that, “[Malaby] is a formidably accomplished soprano and tenor saxophonist with enviable tone and an endless font of compelling ideas, yet he steers his music away from perfection,” and that “his considerable gifts as a melodist tend to sneak up on you.”Jazztimes added that Malaby is, “a hero of today’s improvised music scene”. This praise is unsurprising given the host of projects which Malaby is involved in. In recent years, Malaby has led many of his own projects--his Tamarindo Trio with Nasheet Waits and William Parker, TubaCello with John Hollenbeck, Chris Hoffman and Dan Peck and Palomo Recio with Ben Monder, Eivind Opsvik, Dan Weiss, Billy Mintz and Ben Gerstein. In addition, Malaby is a stalwart sideman, and has lent his talents to such groups as the Paul Motian Electric Be-Bop Band, Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, Fred Hersch’s Quintet, Chris Lightcap’s Bigmouth, Eivind Opsvik’s Overseas and Ches Smith’s These Arches.

Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Malaby’s Mexican heritage permeates his musical life, which shows itself most clearly in the Spanish names given to nearly all of his projects. To this end, Malaby remarked that: “Being a kid, in 1970s Tucson, was very Mexican. And I don’t think it really felt like anything American. There was an atmosphere created there with music, ritual, going to mass, any type of ceremony, praying, the rosary, smelling incense... all of things, and how they would overlap, have lingered. I really think that’s who I am: that’s how I came up and put things together to grow up. And there’s really strong imagery for me, from back then. I try to communicate those experiences, with my sound and how I play.”Hence, it’s not surprising that Malaby’s early saxophone influences would be drawn from the same source. “ In the neighborhood, everybody was playing R&B music,”Malaby said, “and people would play the really commercial Gato Barbieri records, when they would wash their cars. But most importantly, there were lots of parties, and lots of barbecues--for any sort of celebration, there was a party. And there were always live bands, and they would always have an alto saxophonist. The style of music was a Northern Mexican Polka music called nortenga. The instrumentation was 12 string guitar, accordion, electric bass, drums and alto saxophone. And I remember there was one band that my family particularly hired every time, be it for a baptism or a first hol ycommunion. And I remember being enthralled by the saxophonist, because he could make these screeching bird things that sounded like a goat, or a chicken! I just put it together and realized I needed a saxophone.”

These impressions and images are clearly conveyed both in Malaby’s improvisational work and his sparse, folk melodies. In May of 2014, Malaby released his latest record with his Tamarindo trio, Somos Agua, which serves to further solidify the telepathic improvisational connection that he has fostered with Parker and Waits on their self-titled debut and 2010’s Tamarindo Live which added legendary AACM trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. Unlike many saxophonists who ostentatiously place themselves in front, or solo on top of, a rhythm section, Tamarindo evidences a long-held belief and practice of Malaby’s in which he texturally immerses himself within the sounds of his bandmates and the result is, what Malaby called, “an organic, self-generating whole”. In the forthcoming months, Malaby will release the debut record of his TubaCello bandon Clean Feed records as well as continuing his extensive touring with Tamraindo and TubaCello in 2015. Palomo Recio will record by the end of the year and a solo record is in the works, too. 


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