In his review of their debut Chrome (Playscape Recordings, 2013), my learned colleague at All About Jazz, Dan McClenaghan described Mario Pavone's Dialect Trio as "a beautiful tumult." That description expanded with the trio's sophomore disc Blue Dialect (Clean Feed, 2015) and maybe further with their latest Philosophy. The maelstrom they foment is partly explained by their schedules. Drummer Tyshawn Sorey is a composer of jazz and new classical music and multi-instrumentalistcheck out his piano chops on That/Not (Firehouse 12 Records, 2007. He can be heard in multiple settings with artists like Roscoe Mitchell, John Zorn, Vijay Iyer, and Myra Melford. Likewise pianist Matt Mitchell is listed on just about every other creative jazz recording released since 2012. Turn an LP over and you will read his name in the lineups of Tim Berne, Dave Douglas, Anna Webber, Jonathan Finlayson, John Hollenbeck, and Steve Coleman, to name just a few.
"Busy working artists" doesn't begin to describe Sorey and Mitchell. Maybe that is why an elder statesman like Pavone choses to employ the pair. Their ferment is his fodder for composing and performing. Five of the eight tracks are his originals, plus two, "Circles" and "The Beginning" by Annette Peacock, and the group improvisation "Everything There Is." The latter piece repeatedly fractures and attempts to move in differing directions like escaped convicts chained together. Ultimately, they recognize the trio's objectives and cooperate, sort of. It is this audacity that Pavone values in his partners. The same cheek you might hear in Thelonious Monk's music turns up on "Two Thirds Radial." Borrowing some of Monk's 'wrong notes,' Mitchell gallops a-glop while Pavone swings and Sorey reinvents the space-time continuum. Pavone is a master of dynamic music. He applies a fresh internal logic to compositions like "Iskmix" and "8-18-18" that is not satisfied with constant time or direction. The exception here is the somber "Circles," a painstakingly quiet rendition which gives way to the brief and frenzied "The Beginning." This is challenging, fulfilling, and satisfying music.
8/18/18; Philosophy; Circles; The Beginning; Everything There Is; Two Thirds Radial; Iskmix; Noka.
Mario Pavone: double bass; , Matt Mitchell: piano; Tyshawn Sorey: drums.