Eivind Opsvik: Overseas II (2005)
Tony Malaby is certainly one of the most impressive of the younger saxophonists emerging today, and his appearance on Overseas II lifts it above the ordinary and makes it worth checking out. Time and again, Malaby plays with relentless invention, and he is especially compelling on "Planned Future" and "Tilt Of Timber." Although the other musicians play extremely well, this turns out to be Malaby's show to a large extent.
Opsvik himself is a sturdy, inventive bassist with a huge, woody tone and rock-solid time. His consistently probing lines are a major factor in the overall success of this music. Both Kenny Wolleson and Jeff Davis contribute driving and varied drum work, meshing beautifully with Opsvik.
Altoist Loren Stillman maintains the lyrical mood, particularly on "Tilt Of Timber." The keyboard players provide atmospheric comping, and on "Still The Tiger Town," Craig Taborn plays a whirling organ solo that is a highlight of the album. Another highlight is "Escapades," a feature for the leader's bass, in which his work is thoughtful, measured, and stately.
So maybe the ballads take Overseas II out of the realm of fusion. Much of today's most interesting and challenging music readily crosses genre boundaries. This album is no exception, and if you like Tony Malaby, you'll appreciate it, no question.
Track Listing: Planned Future; Maritime Safety; Peacetime; Craig Plays Celeste; Tilt Of Timber; Escapades; Still The Tiger Town; Stranded; Jacob Plays Celeste; Ah! Aground Again; Kapp Det Gode Hap.
Personnel: Eivind Opsvik: bass; Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone; Loren Stillman: alto saxophone; Jacob Sacks, Craig Taborn: keyboards; Kenny Wolleson, Jeff Davis: drums.
Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent
Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock