367

Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet: Ancestors

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
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, even while he's breaking the time and taking all sorts of liberties with it.

The very idea of a two-tenor front line is potentially fraught with complication but Pavone has been scrupulous with regards to who occupies the roles. There's enough contrast in the respective approaches of Jimmy Greene and Tony Malaby to ensure that the feeling of sameness doesn't set in. Malaby's work is the more fractious of the two whilst Greene, working a freer seam than the one he might be more readily associated with, brings to his work a kind of agitated grace which is symptomatic of a multi-faceted musician who's really coming into his own.

The degree to which the two men are simpatico is felt perhaps most strongly on the turbulently elegant "Strata Blue." Guitarist Michael Musillami's arrangement seems to breathe air into the composition and pianist Peter Madsen makes the most of his solo opportunity to turn in some intriguing variations. The fact that the rhythm trio is so flexible and alert to every possibility seems to lend the music an air of simplicity which is no small feat considering the complexity of the base material.

The same is true of "Beige Structure," where the spirit of Steve Lacy is evoked and not merely because both sax players initially pick up their sopranos. It's an example of how distinctive a compositional voice Pavone is, and again the band makes the most of it, underscoring the impression of a notably cohesive unit even while they avoid all the pratfalls inherent in such a line-up.


Track Listing: Ancestors; Strato Blue; Tomes; Iskmix; Arc For Puppy; Beige Structure; Pachuca; Andrew.

Personnel: Mario Pavone: bass; Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Jimmy Greene: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Peter Madsen: piano; Gerald Cleaver: drums.

Title: Ancestors | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Playscape Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Silent Light" CD/LP/Track Review Silent Light
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "The Reasons Don't Change" CD/LP/Track Review The Reasons Don't Change
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Towards Language" CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Graviton" CD/LP/Track Review Graviton
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "Parking Lot Symphony" CD/LP/Track Review Parking Lot Symphony
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Groove Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.