All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

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 Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
Mønk
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Hidden Details CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Details
by John Kelman
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Selective Coverage CD/LP/Track Review
Selective Coverage
by Jim Olin
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read "Basic Economy" CD/LP/Track Review Basic Economy
by Paul Rauch
Published: August 4, 2018
Read "Groovin' With Big G" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin' With Big G
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 4, 2018
Read "Audacity" CD/LP/Track Review Audacity
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: June 30, 2018
Read "Beethoven – Missa Solemnis" CD/LP/Track Review Beethoven – Missa Solemnis
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 17, 2018
Read "In Search Of A Dream" CD/LP/Track Review In Search Of A Dream
by Chris May
Published: July 2, 2018
Read "Ravensburg" CD/LP/Track Review Ravensburg
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 16, 2018