Piano trios seeking a level of parity of instrumental input are common. Those who achieve a high level of piano/bass/drums democracy develop a group sound born of a melding of musical personalities. With strong personalities all aroundas on the Mario Pavone Dialect Trioa beautiful tumult is born.
Chrome is bassist Pavone's second Dialect Trio release, following 2015's Blue Dialect (Playscape Recordings). A big part of the allure of Chrome is the head-bumping and elbow throwing between the three free-spirited cohortsPavone, pianist Matt Mitchell and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. All leaders in their own rightswith Pavone sitting in the veteran's chairthe voices clash and clamber and somehow keep things coherent and approachable, from the bump and bounce of "Glass 10" to the sneaking-through-the-back-streets vibe of "Ancestors," and on into "The Lizards (for Jim Jarmusch)," with it thorny, rolling-through-a-thunderstorm groove.
Mitchell and Sorey aren't exactly rising stars anymore; they've been around and now can be counted as relative newcomers to the top tier of jazz artistsa level they've reached via, in Tyshawn Sorey's case, four sometimes challenging but always compelling releases on Pi Recordings, including 2017's marvelous Verisimilitude, the drummer's own brooding, individualistic take on the piano trio; and Matt Mitchell with his work on Tim Berne's high-and-outside Snake Oil recordings on ECM Records, and his put-it-in-the bank Best Release of 2017 spot for Forage (Pi Recordings, 2017), a vibrant, sometimes combustable solo piano exploration of the tunes of Tim Berne.
A look at three three names on the CD's cover, pre-listening, said "dream team." That turned out to be true with Chrome.
Cobalt; Glass 10; Ellipse; Ancestors; Beige; The Lizards (for Jim Jarmusch); Conic; Bley; Chrome; Continuing.
Mario Pavone: bass; Matt Mitchel: piano; Tyshawn Sorey: drums.
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