All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

334

Mario Pavone Sextet: Deez to Blues

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Bassist, composer and bandleader Mario Pavone leads a new all-star sextet on Deez to Blues, his seventeenth recording as a leader. Pavone's swinging, multi-layered compositions push the tradition forward while always looking back. Like his stylistic forefather, Charles Mingus, Pavone's notion of the jazz tradition is playful yet reverent. By placing the rhythm section at the fore while relegating the horns to support roles, Pavone's groups trigger structural innovation quite literally from the inside out.

The bassist's contrapuntal writing updates the jazz tradition in subtle, inventive ways, bending the rules, rather than breaking them. The core rhythm trio is given equal status with the front line, both individually and during chart-driven ensemble passages. Pavone's music exudes a living, breathing quality; his sextet is all ears, as well as muscle.

Pavone and two long-term associates, drummer Michael Sarin and pianist Peter Madsen, trump the front-line soloists time and again with tricky interplay and quicksilver call and response phrasing. The harmonically rich front line consists of another frequent collaborator, trumpeter/arranger Steven Bernstein, and two recent additions, violinist Charles Burnham and multi-instrumentalist Howard Johnson (tuba, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet), both legends in their own right.

Burnham's folksy violin soars over the loping rhythm changes of "Zines" and opens the darkly episodic "Deez." Howard Johnson, an underused session man, finally receives his due as the album's unspoken MVP. His muscular baritone is showcased on the mighty swinging grind of "Xapo," while his lyrical side gets a turn on the set's sole cover, Marty Ehrlich's tender ballad "Day of the Dark Bright Light." Peter Madsen's pneumatic piano and Steven Bernstein's expressively pinched trumpet both contribute rousing solos to "Zines" and "Deez." As an arranger, Bernstein's chart for "Ocbo" is his most vivacious; the whole group trades rotating eights, sparking vibrant statements from all.

Other than a few brief solos, the leader magnanimously avoids the spotlight until the very end. The poignantly titled closer, "Second-Term Blues," showcases his abilities from buoyantly lyrical pizzicato to haunting arco harmonics.

Mario Pavone's inside-outside sensibility never veers so far from tradition as to abandon swing, yet his multifarious writing is anything but ostentatious. Deez to Blues is a high water mark in a consistently exceptional discography.


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: drums.

Title: Deez to Blues | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Playscape Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

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 Always Forward CD/LP/Track Review
Always Forward
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 15, 2018
Read The Music of Richard Whiting CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Richard Whiting
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Barefoot Dances and Other Visions CD/LP/Track Review
Barefoot Dances and Other Visions
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Twinscapes Vol. 2: A Modern Approach To The Dancefloor CD/LP/Track Review
Twinscapes Vol. 2: A Modern Approach To The Dancefloor
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Talking with Charlie - An Imaginary Talk with Charlie Parker CD/LP/Track Review
Talking with Charlie - An Imaginary Talk with Charlie Parker
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 15, 2018
Read The Gene Krupa Quartet: Live 1966! CD/LP/Track Review
The Gene Krupa Quartet: Live 1966!
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: November 15, 2018
Read "SuperClusters" CD/LP/Track Review SuperClusters
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 21, 2018
Read "Congo" CD/LP/Track Review Congo
by Chris May
Published: April 28, 2018
Read "Yequm" CD/LP/Track Review Yequm
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 28, 2017
Read "Plastic Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Plastic Sun
by Chris May
Published: April 11, 2018
Read "Israeli Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Israeli Jazz
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 2, 2018
Read "Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Christmas
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 30, 2017