Mario Pavone Sextet: Deez to Blues (2006)
If Mario Pavone were to be greeted with a fanfare of trumpets in celebration of the forty years he has been moulding music into inventive and challenging celebrations, he would probably look for bass and drums to ring the brass. Pavone is known to get the rhythm section out in front, and he continues to do so on Deez to Blues. That idea has more than its share of thrills, but his music continues to be the driving force. It is often exhilarating, but it also looks inward to pull a different emotional string. Driving it all the deeper on this recording are his choice of instrumentalists and the arrangements of Steven Bernstein.
True to his vision, "Zines brings out Michael Sarin's drums, Peter Madsen's piano and Pavone's own bass before Bernstein and Howard Johnson chip in to complete the head. The band assembles to lay a long swirl of colourful motifs before Bernstein moves on to forge a path of warped notes. Charles Burnham swings in, the bow of his violin sweeping deep before Madsen changes the tack with broken runs. Together they essay a path in constant flux, unexpectedly revealing the the focus of the visionaries involved.
Pavone and Burnham take "Dances 3/5 to a high plateau of conversation. The former bows the bass, the latter plucks the violin's strings. With a measured pace, they move on as Johnson comes in on the baritone saxophone. Brighter hues now dominate, Pavone frolics on the bass, and the band comes together all animated and gung-ho. They cast form, no longer an imperative, to the forces of free will, an enthralling change.
Deez to Blues is a triumph for Pavone and a record that will leave an indelible impression.
Track Listing: Zines; Deez; Xapo; Dances 3/5; Day of the Dark Bright Light; Ocbo; Second-Term Blues.
Personnel: Mario Pavone: bass; Steven Bernstein: trumpet, slide trumpet; Howard Johnson: tuba, baritone sax, bass clarinet; Charles Burnham: violin; Peter Madsen: piano; Michael Sarin: drums.