393

Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet: Ancestors

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet: Ancestors 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

More Articles

Read Antidote CD/LP/Track Review Antidote
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 29, 2017
Read Musical Journey Through Time CD/LP/Track Review Musical Journey Through Time
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 29, 2017
Read Gentle Giants CD/LP/Track Review Gentle Giants
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 29, 2017
Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read "Resolution" CD/LP/Track Review Resolution
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "The Sparrow" CD/LP/Track Review The Sparrow
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 15, 2016
Read "Garden" CD/LP/Track Review Garden
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "Concentric Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Concentric Circles
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs" CD/LP/Track Review Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs
by John Eyles
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 17, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.