Album Review

Carletti, Juan Pablo / Tony Malaby / Christopher Hoffman – “Nino / Brujo” – [Nobusiness Records]

Naysayer   2/24/2015   12-inch, Jazz

Nobusiness, the superb music label out of Lithuania, has done a remarkable job with this project by drummer Juan Pablo Carletti, cellist Christopher Hoffman, and tenor sax player Tony Malaby. Carletti, from Bueno Aires and now stationed in New York City, has created seven pieces of lush beauty and sophistication which never feel static or produced. The exceptional teamwork of this trio, all who have earned their chops with numerous groups and projects of quality and respect, play off of each other in improvisational stylings that are never blurting or squonky. There is a gorgeous flow to each piece, some subtle and quiet, others almost ready to explode, yet all of which are easy on the ear. So much improvised music can start to sound like a bunch of duck calls all going off at once (and don’t get me wrong for that is a sound i love). Such is not the case with “Nino/Brujo”.
There is a respectful interplay between the sax, drums and cello. Space and time are allowed, giving the listener’s ear a chance
to take in the sounds. Malaby’s sax is smooth and lush, not tinny. Hoffman plucks and pulls the strings as well as bows, exploring the tonal qualities of the cello. Carletti, influenced by the current New York scene, as well as his own skill, uses hands, mallets and other implements, besides the sticks, to drum. An exquisite addition to the library.

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