Paxselin Quartet: A Guide To Desolation Wilderness (2005)
Tobin provides several key points of interest, playing blues-drenched alto saxophone with a thick, tangy sound. She's rooted in Coleman and Charlie Parker, but as with the clarity of her "Blues For Ornette" improvisation, the tone is her own. Chad Hensel's bass clarinet may summon the benign shade of Dolphy, but the intensity is all Hensel.
The quartet grounds its music in the interlocking dancing of Athens and Pancerev. Athens' sturdy bass can be swinging ("3PaxselinOne") or funky ("Death And The Child"), always ably directing musical traffic. Drummer Pancerev does a nimble tap dance around the bass, and when he and Athens lock in together, the effect is most stimulating.
The members of the Paxselin Quartet aren't content to merely imitate their models. Rather, they seek their own voices, rooted in the tradition, but reflecting their own mind. At its best, this music has a yearning quality, perhaps a call from Oregon, where these musicians make their home. Whatever that sound may be, it gives A Guide To Desolation Wilderness a unique, profoundly American flavor.
Visit the Paxselin Quartet on the web.
Track Listing: Death And The Child, #3PaxselinOne, Blues For Ornette, Song, Addicts Of Confrontation, Smoke And Mirrors, Gambangan.
Personnel: Mary Sue Tobin, alto sax, soprano sax; Chad Hensel, bass clarinet; Bill Athens, bass; Steve Pancerev, drums.
Style: Modern Jazz