All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

393

Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet: Ancestors

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
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 and empathetic unit, each member has collaborated with Pavone in the past; this is Madsen's ninth recording with the bassist and Malaby's fourth, while Cleaver played on Orange (Playscape, 2003) and Greene appeared on Totem Blues (Knitting Factory, 2000).

Pavone's inside/outside aesthetic embraces the expressive potential of free jazz without sacrificing the accessible qualities of hard bop. A commanding bassist and an astute composer, his writing employs a variety of advanced techniques, including shifting rhythms, oscillating tempos and variable dynamics. The quintet fluidly modulates between graceful precision and brash abandon, relying on keen listening skills and dexterous interplay to navigate these labyrinthine pieces.

The tunes are vigorous, each one offering robust lyricism and unfettered emotion—there are no obligatory ballads or introspective fare here. Swinging with kinetic force, galloping bass pulses and crystalline piano shards punctuate quicksilver trap set ruminations as the paired saxophonists uncoil visceral cadences. The quintet handles these tricky charts with aplomb, interpreting them with carefree enthusiasm befitting a congenial blowing session.

Six of the album's eight tunes feature guest arrangements by trumpeters Steven Bernstein and Dave Ballou, as well as producer Musilliami, offering a diverse array of settings for the quintet to explore. The title track and "Andrew" (dedicated to Hill) offer angular, explosive post-bop, "Tomes" traffics in blazing modal hard bop and "Iskmix" climaxes with bluesy fervor. "Pachuka" dabbles in gritty acoustic funk while intervallic counterpoint and punchy Afro-Latin 6/8 rhythms drive "Arc for Puppy" and "Strata Blue."

Despite impressive contributions from the rhythm section, the session's most compelling aspect is the nuanced discourse between the paired saxophonists. Malaby is a renowned free improviser with a vast dynamic range whose raw expressionism has made him one of today's most in-demand saxophonists. The younger Greene is a talented yet underexposed straight ahead hard bop stylist. Together they weave a rich mosaic that veers from unfettered to virtuosic, encapsulating the entire history of their instruments in circuitous dialogues.

Supported by a vibrant cast of fellow veterans, Ancestors is one of Pavone's most uncompromising and passionate recordings. For those inclined towards more adventurous fare, this is essential listening.


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

Deez

Deez

Mario Pavone
Deez to Blues

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Chrome

Chrome

Playscape Recordings
2017

buy
Vertical

Vertical

Clean Feed Records
2017

buy
Blue Dialect

Blue Dialect

Clean Feed Records
2015

buy
Street Songs

Street Songs

Playscape Recordings
2015

buy
Street Songs

Street Songs

Playscape Recordings
2014

buy
 

Arc Trio

Croatia Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Live! CD/LP/Track Review
Live!
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 19, 2018
Read My Favorite Things(1960-1969) CD/LP/Track Review
My Favorite Things(1960-1969)
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 19, 2018
Read The Acadian Orogeny CD/LP/Track Review
The Acadian Orogeny
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 19, 2018
Read Drift CD/LP/Track Review
Drift
by Paul Rauch
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Journey Moments CD/LP/Track Review
Journey Moments
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island CD/LP/Track Review
Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 18, 2018
Read "Signs" CD/LP/Track Review Signs
by Doug Collette
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "Circumstances" CD/LP/Track Review Circumstances
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 5, 2018
Read "So Nice!" CD/LP/Track Review So Nice!
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 30, 2017
Read "Journey" CD/LP/Track Review Journey
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 1, 2018
Read "Hule" CD/LP/Track Review Hule
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 4, 2018
Read "Again" CD/LP/Track Review Again
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 9, 2018