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Throughout his forty-year career as a professional musician and on seventeen recordings under his leadership, bassist Mario Pavone has shown himself to be a musical maverick whose only concern is pushing himself and his contemporaries. On Deez To Blues, a sextet featuring acerbic trumpeter Steven Bernstein, violinist Charles Burnham and the consummate reed/tuba doubler Howard Johnson, showcases Pavone's quirky, angular pieces in all their idiosyncratic beauty.
The tunes run the gamut from improvisational foray to emotional ballad, and each musician contributes memorable solo statements. Burnham's pizzicato violin melds seamlessly with Pavone's resonant bass motifs on the superbly arranged "Dances 3/5, and both Bernstein and Johnson tear it up on "Ocbo, the later playing the oft-neglected tuba.
For all the powerful statements made by the horns, the real show here is in the remarkable rhythm section. Peter Madsen's piano is both a pliant foundation and a solo force to be reckoned with, while Michael Sarin's tasteful drumming is a model of grace and understatement. Of course, one would be remiss in neglecting to mention the astonishing contribution of the leader himself. Pavone's playing, especially on "Second-Term Blues, is razor-sharp and will surely draw the rapt attention of any bass lover.
Seeing Pavone in person at the 55 Bar last month was the perfect complement to hearing him on record. Although the group was different (a combination of players from previous outings, including Tony Malaby on tenor and Ron Horton on trumpet), the overall vibe was the same. Pavone was at the center of the proceedings, emitting raucous musical and verbal cues to his cohorts, while coaxing statements of sublime beauty from an instrument whose ornate top curled a foot over his close-cropped salt-and-pepper hair. The band played a stimulating mix of old and new Pavone compositions, along with a gem by the late saxophonist Thomas Chapin, to the delight of the packed house. The music was fresh and vibrant, two characteristics that seem equally apt when describing its remarkable creator.
Track Listing: Zines; Deez; Xapo; Dances 3/5; Day Of The Dark Bright Light; Ocbo; Second-Term Blues.
Personnel: Mario Pavone: bass; Steven Bernstein: trumpet, slide trumpet; Howard Johnson: tuba, baritone
saxophone, bass clarinet; Charles Burnham: violin; Peter Madsen: piano; Michael Sarin:
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com