Pat Mallinger – tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, flute; Dan Trudell – piano.
Recorded 8/19 and 8/20/2009.
Produced and engineered by Nick Eipers.
#7 in JazzChicago.net's Top Chicago Recordings of 2009
“Those who have seen and heard Pat’s work live, will be thrilled to hear it captured in the studio as he shines on tenor, alto, and soprano saxes, as well as flute; while Trudell may surprise some who have only heard his fine work on the organ… his playing – which veers from Tyner to Tatum – perfectly counterbalances his associates as they maneuver through these intricate tunes… ‘Dragon Fish’ not only features the masterful playing of two virtuosos in a relaxed studio setting, but showcases Mallinger’s exceptional compositional skills as well…”
- Brad Walseth, JazzChicago.net
“... glows among the best of sax/piano dialogues, and highlights not only Mallinger's versatility on tenor, alto, soprano and flute, but his compositional eclecticism as well... Duo recordings, when done well, offer a combination of intimacy and engaging conversation - the listener becomes part of the dialog rather than merely a voyeur. Pat Mallinger and Dan Trudell manage to maintain the intimacy of interaction among dear friends while inviting us to feel that warmth and absorb every note.”
- Andrea Canter, JazzPolice.com
“Exploring myriad combinations of timbre, tone and texture, Mallinger and Trudell bring forth just about every nuance that could be found in a woodwind-piano duo situation… As soloists, both Mallinger and Trudell are incredibly adept on their instruments and effortlessly comfortable with the harmonic layout of every tune… ‘Dragon Fish’ is a welcomed addition to the jazz duo catalogue… these two Midwestern musicians not only pay homage to the great duo albums of the past, but make their own memorable contribution to the genre.”
- Matthew Warnock, AllAboutJazz.com
“The ten pieces are set up as a relaxed intelligent conversation between two friends. Mallinger is a multi-reedist who is equally skilled on flute and three saxophones - soprano, tenor and alto - while Trudell is a unique voice on the piano. The two are very compatible in their musical vision... the superior musicianship of the two players and their comfort in each other's company keep the music interesting and intriguing.”
- Hrayr Attarian, Chicago Jazz Magazine
“The music ranges from the assertively modal 'Adventures' to the pastoral 'Hills Over Tuscany' and gentle 'Madeline's Lullaby'. The two swing as if there were drums and bass on 'Pigeon Peas' and barrels down the boulevard on the extroverted Coltrane-inspired'CPW'... A great 10 rounder!”
- George W. Harris, JazzWeekly.com
“… this album… ripples and roars with the intimacy of two friends engaged in a musical conversation that started a quarter-century ago… So as you listen to the effortless intensity of these collaborations, you’ll hear an artistic collaboration ripened by 25 years of professional interplay and personal interaction … The barreling “CPW” takes its initials from the John Coltrane ballad “Central Park West”; says Mallinger, “I was experimenting with playing it fast and came up with this melody, and the tune just fell into place; it’s kind of a roundabout way to pay tribute to Coltrane.” As for “Just Give It A Chance,” with Mallinger on alto: “I initially wanted to write a bossa nova, and I was trying for some Jobim-influenced chord changes. But it’s a little more elaborate than I’d expected, and rather difficult.” So the title echoes his advice to musicians who react skeptically when they first see the music. The title track has a fiery, fluid melody by Mallinger, with Trudell’s harmonies providing unexpected offshoots that frame and deepen the theme. Although Mallinger gets composer’s credit, the division of labor echoes the way they work on the songs that bear both their names – the somewhat ethereal “Diffuse,” with Coltrane’s influence informing Mallinger’s soprano work, and “Adventures,” which Mallinger describes as “our rock tune” (tongue firmly in cheek)…”
- Neil Tesser (from the liner notes)
Pat Mallinger was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he began playing the saxophone at the age of 11. He received his Jazz Studies degree in 1986 from North Texas State University where he was awarded the One O'Clock Lab Band Scholarship. He performed while residing in Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, and Japan, before establishing Chicago as his home in 1990. He is a co-leader of Sabertooth which has been the mainstay band at the Green Mill Lounge each Saturday night for 17 years. He is also heard around town performing with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Bobby Lewis Quintet, and the Pat Mallinger Quartet to name a few. Pat performs concerts and festivals nationally and internationally both as a bandleader and sideman. His resume includes performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Joe Williams, Nancy Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Harry Connick, Ramsey Lewis, Aretha Franklin, Rosemary Clooney, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Patti Austin, Manhattan Transfer, Gerald Wilson, Muhal Richard Abrams, Lalo Schifrin, Cab Calloway, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Reunion Band, Eddie Higgins, Junior Mance, Cedar Walton, Dave Brubeck, Marcus Roberts, Weldon Irving, Renee Rosness, Regina Carter, Kurt Elling, Jack McDuff, Joey DeFrancesco, Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman, David Sanchez, Steve Wilson, Eric Alexander, Billy Harper, Jimmy Heath, Johnny Griffin, James Moody, Lee Konitz, Phil Woods, Paquito D’Rivera, Nick Brignola, Franz Jackson, Von Freeman, Roscoe Mitchell, Buddy Defranco, Alvin Batiste, Slide Hampton, Curtis Fuller, Steve Turre, Clark Terry, Randy Brecker, Tom Harrell, Doc Severinsen, Roy Hargrove, Lester Bowie, Jon Faddis, Lou Soloff, Terell Stafford, Jim Rotondi, Marcus Belgrave, Lonnie Brooks, Big Time Sarah, Melvin Seals, Vince Welnick, Umphrey's McGee, and Dark Star Orchestra. Pat has toured with the Charles Earland Band, Artie Shaw Orchestra, and Woody Herman Orchestra. As an original member of the Ravinia Jazz Mentor program, founded by Ramsey Lewis, Pat has mentored the underserved inner city youth through jazz performance and clinics in Chicago Public High Schools for fifteen years. He also teaches for Columbia College in a similar capacity as a Jazz Mentor at Burley Elementary in a program created by Jon Faddis entitled Louis Armstrong Legacy Project and Celebration. Pat also teaches privately to students enrolled at the American Conservatory of Music. Additionally, he is the director of the Concert Jazz Band at Merit School of Music in Chicago.