This is the last album made by Australian alto sax legend David Ades with his New York mates. Helias, Cleaver and Malaby have an uncanny hook-up and rapport formed over years working trio as “Open-Loose” but with the addition of Ades' alto the sound takes on another dimension.
A Life In A Day
is the quartet’s second recording in two years following A Glorious Uncertainty
. The music is gritty and honest; passionate, immediate and forthright. It is played with open minds and full hearts in the spirit of true brotherhood. Ades' searing alto and Malaby’s adventurous tenor blend and twist together in a truly organic way honed by a deep friendship and understanding formed through many years of hanging out and playing extended improvised duets.
The sound is wonderfully transparent and the players interactions are conversational celebrations of the human condition. Ades passed away from lung cancer only a few weeks after the album was recorded and you can hear the passion and urgency he was always renowned for burning hotter than ever here. Unbelievably, he made this recording with two tumours in one lung, a stent in his trachea and two broken ribs. Despite not having played for six weeks leading up to the recording he sounds as singular and courageous as ever. Everyone plays with an abundance of passion and sensitivity. Dave knew this was his final statement and the music has an essence that is both elemental and eternal.
Malaby said after the session that “Recording with Dave and experiencing that will to create and sing, in lieu of what he was going through physically, changed my way of looking at life forever.” Helias called the songs that Dave composed for the session “wonderful and expressive pieces for us to breathe life into” and said the recording was “a transformational experience”. Ades said of the band “These three master musicians represent for me the essence of musical wisdom, freedom and expression. They play straight from the heart with a directness that reminds me why I love this music so much. What a great treat and privilege to have made this music with them; a glorious dream indeed”.
There’s a directness and clarity to Ades' soulful alto sound that’s so vivid and visceral it’s easy to imagine he’s standing right next to you. Malaby has never been afraid to open musical doors and dive right through but there’s an extra depth of feeling here especially on soprano. Some of his solos seem to spontaneously combust and evaporate.
Ades had a lifelong love affair with New York and it’s fitting that his last album was made there in the company of his peers, some of the most creative and instantly identifiable musicians anywhere.
- Slow Song
- Offshore Wind
- Going Left
- Arco and Alto