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Mario Pavone/Michael Musillami: Motion Poetry

AAJ Staff By

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While credited to bassist Pavone and guitarist Musillami, Motion Poetry is truly a group effort. Their quartet (with pianist Peter Madsen and drummer Michael Sarin) enjoys a remarkable level of cohesion and energy. The demanding compositions on Motion Poetry (by Pavone and Musillami, as well as Thomas Chapin and Marty Ehrlich) require rock-solid on-the-spot tightness.

The mostly upbeat character of these tunes emphasizes punch and groove. Motion Poetry, as the title suggests, emphasizes the development of melodic ideas within a driving rhythmic framework. This means the quartet pulses with energy, utilizing guitarist Musillami's greatest strength: the integration of singing melodies with clever manipulations of time. (Humming along with his solos, the guitarist seems to celebrate every note.) Musillami certainly deserves much more attention as a guitar stylist and composer.

And Pavone is his ideal foil, playing off the guitar lines as much as he interfaces with the percolating rhythms of Michael Sarin. Pavone pushes the edge into free bop—equally at home laying down walking basslines as he is supporting melodic development, gliding between styles with a remarkable fluidity. Pianist Peter Madsen's attention to harmony helps protect the generally fast-moving changes, and he's not at all averse to throwing his weight around with punchy clusters and angular melodic lines.

Indeed, Motion Poetry has a magical glow, combining irresistible forward momentum with enough unexpected twists and turns to make every step forward a delicious surprise.


Track Listing: Foody; 3M Blues; Poet o Central Park; Emmett Spencer; New Socks; Lament in Passing; Song for M; Archives.

Personnel: Michael Musillami: guitar; Mario Pavone: bass; Peter Madsen: piano; Michael Sarin: drums.

Title: Motion Poetry | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Playscape Recordings


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