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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mario Pavone: Street Songs

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Listing an accordion in a jazz sextet's lineup evokes either thoughts of avant-garde leanings or maybe kitschy hipsterism. Not so for bassist Mario Pavone. Street Songs includes Adam Matlock's bellows-driven squeezebox, not as a gimcrack ornament, but a link to the immigrant working class neighborhood music of Pavone's post-WW II youth. The musician's history is significant because his bass has anchored modern music including bands by innovators such as Paul Bley, Bill Dixon, Thomas Chapin, Anthony Braxton, and Wadada Leo Smith. As a leader he has released two dozen sessions with his previous being Arc Trio (Playscape, 2013). ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mario Pavone Orange Double Tenor: Arc Suite t/pi t/po

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This release is something of a milestone for bassist and leader Mario Pavone. Now in his 70th year, he's also in his 45th year in music, which in a lot of cases would understandably mark a slowing down or restatement of established values. But Pavone is nothing if not forward-looking. So while looking back to the 1960s for inspiration for this music, he's succeeded in putting together a program alive with contemporary values.In order for this to happen, he's been judicious in his choice of sidemen. With the exception of trumpeter Dave Ballou this is the band that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet: Ancestors

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This is bassist Mario Pavone's second release of 2008 and it's every bit as strong as the earlier Trio Arc, also on Playscape. In marked contrast to the piano trio featured there, the quintet fronted by two tenor saxophones here is a more heated, volatile affair. The resulting contrast is as good an example as any of the amount of ground Pavone covers.

He's aided in that respect by having big ears. There are times here, as with the febrile animation of “Pachuca," where he's all over the music, as propulsive as any bassist worthy of the title should be, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet: Ancestors

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Ancestors marks the debut of bassist Mario Pavone's Double Tenor Quintet. A tireless bandleader and endlessly resourceful composer, Pavone's nineteenth release as a leader is his tenth recording for guitarist Michael Musillami's Playscape label. Dedicated to iconic masters Andrew Hill and Dewey Redman, Pavone pays homage to their legacies with a robust, unflagging set rich in soulful intensity and harmonic complexity.

Longtime associate pianist Peter Madsen and veteran drummer Gerald Cleaver join Pavone as unassailable rhythm section partners, while the muscular front line tenors of Tony Malaby and Jimmy Greene offer a fascinating study in contrasts. A tight ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet: Ancestors

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It might be cliche to say that the recording Ancestors by Mario Pavone's Double Tenor Quintet has caught lightning in a bottle, but this is indeed a potent feat of extraordinary music making. The bassist/leader became famous as the primary accompanist for the late saxophonist Thomas Chapin. In the ten years since Chapin's death in 1998, Pavone has distinguished himself with his own groups such as Trio Arc, with Paul Bley and Matt Wilson, his various quartets and quintets, plus his sideman sessions with guitarist Michael Musillami.

Pavone's Double Tenor Quintet assembles long-time collaborators into a new and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mario Pavone: Trio Arc

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Bassist Mario Pavone's first recording was as a member of pianist Paul Bley's trio on the little-heard 1968 release Canada (Radio Canada International). This was when Bley's trio was at the peak of its acoustic glory, but Pavone's tenure was short-lived as Bley moved into an electronic phase shortly after. Pavone would go on after to release a number of fine recordings of his own forward-looking music as well collaborating with such players as Bill Dixon, Anthony Braxton and Thomas Chapin.

Trio Arc is the first meeting of the two in 35 years (Pavone briefly rejoined Bley's group ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mario Pavone: Trio Arc

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This is a meeting of minds. Bassist Mario Pavone first worked with pianist Paul Bley some forty years ago, but there's something about the music they produce in this trio setting with drummer Matt Wilson that renders the issue of time irrelevant. What makes it so is the underlying impression that this is music destined never to be resolved, as if the musicians making it are so clear in their innate understanding both of each other and their collective musical output that they could pick up the threads at any time and in any place.

This would account for the ...



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