Tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, a protean improviser and ubiquitous presence on the New York jazz scene, pops up everywhere on this year's Earshot Jazz Festival.

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A ubiquitous presence on the New York jazz scene’s exploratory frontier, tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby appears with a variety of groups in several venues at this year’s Earshot Festival.

Malaby’s power trio Tamarindo, which pivots on the commanding bass work of avant-garde icon William Parker, performs Oct. 24 at the Royal Room on a double bill with the quartet Shuffleboil, an unusual Gotham-Seattle mashup featuring drummer Bobby Previte and keyboardist Wayne Horvitz. The following night Tamarindo faces off with French horn expert Tom Varner’s Steve Lacy-inspired Seattle quartet at Cornish College’s Poncho Concert Hall.

Malaby concludes his Earshot run at the Seattle Art Museum with bassist Chris Lightcap’s Big Mouth, a talent-laden New York quintet powered by the electrifying drummer Ches Smith (saxophonist Kate Olson and trombonist Naomi Siegel’s electronics-laced duo Syrinx Effect opens). Where Lightcap writes highly developed material with long, luxuriant melodic lines, Tamarindo alternates between spontaneously generated pieces and sketchy themes that serve as improvisatory launchpads.

Andrew Gilbert: jazzscribe@aol.com

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