Pago Libre is one of the finest bands in the biz. This is a reissue of their original 1995 recording for the Germany-based "Bellaphon" label. Essentially, little or nothing is out of this band’s overall scope of capabilities. They commence the festivities with a toe-tapping groove, via bassist Daniele Patumi’s expressive walking bass lines during the opener “Rochade.” Moreover, the quartet systematically integrates subtle variations of the primary theme in concert with unassuming accents and contrasting tonal characteristics.
French hornist Arkady Shilkloper and violinist Tscho Theissing weave chamber-like passages with heated modern jazz flurries throughout. When the soloists, including pianist John Wolf Brennan coalesce - they often present a scenario that might propose notions of a larger unit at work. They explore contrapuntal statements amid symphonic overtures and luminous melodies. But are equally adept at rendering free-form modern jazz type improvisations to coincide with intermittent shifts in strategy. Nonetheless, the artists meld abstract colorizations atop symmetrically devised rhythmic structures. The ensemble also incorporates ethereal treatments and unorthodox voicings into the grand scheme of things. (Among the very best reissues of 2002!) Ardently recommended.
The first jazz record I bought was Bill Evans' Sunday at the Village Vanguard. When I was in high school, I somehow stumbled
across the track My Man's Gone Now and was instantly transfixed. It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever heard. So I saved up
(times were hard for a teenager back then) and went out and bought the album.
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