Donald Malloy
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Donald Malloy

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"Spirituality"

Donald's debut is one of those musical experiences that takes a few spins to grasp it "concept-wise"... what makes it exciting, though, is the fact his all-original compositions weave (per the cut sheet) "different aspects of Spirit" as seen and perceived through all his life experiences - & that's often hard to execute without overdoing the aspects of one's life to such a degree that the musical talent is obscured. I can tell you that Malloy's skill and verve for playing make it totally seamless, & without any over-statement of one theme or another. His trumpet & flugelhorn do reflect some of the folks he's played with, such as Donald Byrd, but he states his case so clearly that you'll never think you're listening to an artist whose playing just "wants to be" another player... totally his OWN life energy shining through here. I'm really impressed... the group of folks he has assembled here (7 besides himself) know exactly what he wants in each piece, & spare no energy to take it there. Donald's playing is often out in front, but he seems just as comfortable letting the other instruments take lead as well. My favorite song on this one turned out to be "Oshun"... it pulls together all the players in a near-meditative state... wonderful piano/flute intro that spins off into call and response of universal quality. For something a bit more energetic, you'll also love "Orunmila"... this is one high-steppin' piece, & it really captures Malloy's most soulful moments! After a couple of listens, his communion with the holies will reach right out & wrap you in to his message... excellent jazz in honor of the deities of the Yoruba tribe (Orisha) that gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me! This is one horn player to keep your ears on - he will rise! Get more information at www.donaldmalloyjazz.com - Improvijazzation Nation


"Spirituality"

Jazz's most searing spiritual statement is not John Coltrane's A Love Supreme (1964, Impulse!); it was his recording, "Alabama," released a year earlier on Live at Birdland (1963, Impulse!). Written in the wake of the Ku Klux Klan's bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham on September 15, 1963, "Alabama" was an improvisation on rage, sorrow, and loss in the cotton-humid climes of the pre-Civil Rights Act Deep South. Nina Simone addressed the church bombing with much different spiritual tome, "Mississippi Goddam." Simone's offering possessed more heat than Coltrane's but one equally relevant. Simone and Coltrane bravely provided corrosive commentaries on the murders. Now, enter trumpeter Donald Malloy, presenting his own divine inspiration through the medium of jazz. Spirituality is a ten-part tone poem composed and arranged by Malloy for his talented sextet. Malloy funnels the themes of Coltrane and Simone into simple etheric themes that operate in a mantra-like manner. Malloy is no Miles Davis acolyte. While adopting the master's use of space and silence, Malloy opts for the piercing tone of Freddie Hubbard, tempered with Lee Morgan and Donald Byrd. Malloy's solos bristle with energy and a tone like bullets hitting a bell. Tia Fuller's alto and soprano saxophones and flute are a tonal match for Malloy's assertive approach. "UpLift" is brightly updated hard bop with a mild Latin beat pushing Malloy and Fuller through the descending head. Fuller's alto is full-bodied and self assured. "Oshun" features pianist Michele Rosewoman and vocalist Barbara Barrett, who doubles Fuller's special flute on the theme. Malloy is placed far back as the voice in the wilderness to effect a multi-layered texture. Spirituality is Malloy's answer to Coltrane and Simone, 45 year later, when much distance has been covered—with even more left to go. - All About Jazz


Discography

Clear Water 2013
The Mothers 2011
Spirituality 2009

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Bio

Donald developed his musical identity like a child goes through his adolescent years. Growing up in the Ifa tradition, Donald’s first musical experience was with traditional “African Praise Music” playing the drums and singing. Later he learned to play the trumpet through the Cleveland Hts. School system and quickly gravitated toward jazz. By the age of 18 Donald had performed with Terence Blanchard, John Clayton, Jeff Clayton, Bobby Watson, and Winard Harper. After graduating Cleveland Hts. High and Cuyahoga Community College simultaneously, Donald was awarded a scholarship at the esteemed Oberlin Conservatory. There he studied with jazz greats like Marcus Belgrave, Billy Hart, and Gary Bartz.

While pursuing his studies Donald continued to demonstrate his musical talents. He performed with such greats such as, Gerald Wilson, Billy Hart, Marcus Belgrave, Jimmy Heath, Eric Lewis, Frank Foster, Roscoe Mitchell, Donald Byrd and the Jazz Heritage Orchestra to name a few. It was at this time that Donald became aware of his gift for composition. He was commissioned to compose the piece Stark Winters for the independent film Man Cry. He also composed a four movement suite for the Jazz Heritage Orchestra entitled Spirit of New Orleans.

Upon graduating from Oberlin, Donald furthered his education as a graduate student at Rutgers University. There he was mentored by, the legendary William Fielder. Since his move to New York City, Donald has had the honor of performing with such greats as Geri Allen, Victor Lewis, Frank Lacey, Michele Rosewoman, Cecil Brooks III, Mike Mossman, The Drifters, Eddie Palmieri, Conrad Herwig, and Frank Sinatra Jr. Donald, also will be in the new film by producer Michael Hausman (The Firm, Broke Back Mountain, Amadeus) called Downtown Express where his song Juanita from his new album The Mothers will be heard.

In March of 2009, Donald released his debut album Spiritualtiy with his cutting edge band SIGHT. Here, he has revisited his spiritual roots, combining the music for the Orisha (African deities of the Yoruba people) and jazz. Each song on the album embodies different aspects of the Spirit, be it love, femininity, masculinity, aggression, destiny or wisdom. These energies represent different aspects of God, and through this music, the creator is praised. SIGHT has now recorded their second album that will be released in March 2011 called, The Mothers.