Remembering Thomas is a heartfelt yet fiery tribute to the late saxophonist/composer Thomas Chapin performed by bassist Mario Pavone’s “Nu Trio”. A monster bassist who possesses remarkable technique, Pavone was the cornerstone for Chapin’s much beloved and highly regarded trio. Here, the “Nu Trio” featuring drummer Matt Wilson and pianist Peter Madsen perform four Chapin original compositions among pieces by Monk, Annette Peacock and Pavone.
What we have here is a spirited and needless to state, “highly motivated” set as these gents set the often furious pace in expeditious fashion which is evident from the opening seconds of the Thomas Chapin composition titled, “Don’t Mind If I Do”. On this piece, pianist Peter Madsen effortlessly articulates swirling arpeggios like a whirling dervish atop the hip and somewhat Bop-ish style drumming by the excellent Matt Wilson. The Trio swing hard, which is heightened by Madsen’s rapidly executed block chords and complex chord progressions as Madsen eventually trades fours with the speedy and quite clever drumming of Wilson. Here and throughout, we are treated to hearing a rhythm section who operate on an elevated plane! Annette Peacock’s “Miracles” is linear in scope and at times borders free jazz via subtly stated themes. Chapin’s “Bypass” is driven by Matt Wilson’s straight four backbeat and Pavone’s large and commanding tone as he also prods Madsen into generating cavalcades of lyrically rich development through rapid clusters and swift single note runs. Pavone and Wilson stretch out as a relentless halo of excitement hovers over this band, which continues on Pavone’s “Jam-Ming” as the Trio swing at a torrid pace. On “Monk’s “Raise Four” Madsen repeats the familiar motif as a vehicle for lead soloist Mario Pavone who inventively counters the melody. Thomas Chapin’s “Insomnia” is comprised of vertical movement and conversational dialogue as Wilson is in a frenzy performing on his “snare drum” utilizing rim shots and huge press rolls which functions as a bridge to the finale.
Remembering Thomas is a first class homage to the late saxophonist as this “Nu Trio” pick up the pieces and forge ahead into a new era while retaining Thomas Chapin’s spiritual presence - as if Chapin was glancing down from above, providing wisdom and guidance. Highly Recommended! * * * * ½
Mario Pavone; Bass: Matt Wilson; Drums: Peter Madsen; Piano