Richard Andersson Sustainable Quartet: Please Recycle (2010)
Danish bassist Richard Andersson organized this session, which attracts attention, at first glance, from the presence of saxophonist Tony Malaby, but then commands regard for all its players.
Recorded after studying at the Manhattan School of Music, Andersson formed an alliance with two other players deserving wider recognition, pianist Sullivan Fortner and drummer Rogerio Boccato. Fortner has already attracted attention for his playing on bassist John Patitucci's Remembrance (Concord, 2009), while Boccato recently toured with trumpeter Roy Hargrove's Quintet.
The music draws from standards, some free improvisations, and Andersson's original title track.
Certainly the draw here is Malaby. His horn has been ubiquitous of late, leading his trio Tamarindo, quartet Paloma Reccio, the Malaby Cello Trio or as featured sideman on projects by Daniel Humair, Chris Lightcap, Ches Smith, Gerald Cleaver, John Hébert, and John Hollenbeck. On Henry Mancini's classic "Moon River," he plays with a breathy delicate tone over Andersson's bowed bass, lending authenticity rather than saccharine possibilities. Interestingly enough, the same goes for Ornette Coleman's "Round Trip," where Malaby opts for faithful retelling on a composition that almost begs for outward eruption. While Malaby plays (almost) the straight man, Fortner is given the opportunity to unfold the possibilities, gliding through some nifty two-handed dancing, while his mates swing mightily, Boccato erupting with a powerful punch.
The band has an instinct for Coleman's music, adeptly swinging "When Will The Blues Leave?" from the 1950s and showing some persistence on the saxophonist's 1970s tune, "What Reason Could I Give?" Elsewhere, the quartet displays some discriminating maturity on three improvised pieces, opting for coherency over chaos. Certainly the credit for the solidarity of the instant composing goes to Andersson, whose rock steady timekeeping maintains these tracks alongside the composed pieces.
While Malaby might have been the initial draw, session, the discovery of some new voices calls for repeated plays of Please Recycle.
Track Listing: Falling Grace; Sense; Moon River; Round Trip; No Sense; Please Recycle; When Will The Blues Leave?; Nonsense; What Reason Could I Give?; Nicas Dream.
Personnel: Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone; Sullivan Fortner: piano; Rogerio Boccato: drums ; Richard Andersson: bass.
Record Label: Blackout Music