Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Michael Pagan Trio: Three for the Ages

363

Michael Pagan Trio: Three for the Ages

By

Sign in to view read count
Michael Pagan Trio: Three for the Ages
Pianist Michael Pagan is known as a prolific composer and arranger for small combos to big bands, and is currently Assistant Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. It is, however, his performance as a musician on Three for the Ages that stands out above his already impressive musical credentials. Adept at recording with big bands, and in a duet and solo formats, as well as small ensembles, Pagan's last trio recording was Tacitus Plus (Capri Records 2004). With Three for the Ages, Pagan returns to the standard piano/bass/drum context with bassist Bob Bowman and drummer Ray DeMarchi—two fixtures from the vibrant Kansas City jazz scene.

Borrowing familiar standards from a distinguished group of composers like Irving Berlin, Gene de Paul, Victor Feldman, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sammy Cahn, Pagan offers a musical landscape that concentrates on beautiful ballads crafted in a classical tinge. An extended rendition of the immortal "You Don't Know What Love Is"—clocking in just short of eleven minutes—never becomes boring, showcasing the pianist's style and improvisational skills, as well as featuring a tasteful solo performance from Bowman. In an uncommon selection of music, Pagan transforms the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice stage/movie theme "Gethsemane," from Jesus Christ Superstar, into a medium-tempo jazz ballad.

The pianist alters the normally slow and somber "How Deep is the Ocean," giving it a livelier texture by using a four-bar measure in each chorus to quicken the pace with speedy finger play on the keys. Just as buoyant and assertive is the interpretation of "I Should Care," featuring some of Pagan's best piano chops. The mainstays of the album however, are the beautiful ballads, including Feldman's "Falling in Love," Pagan's original title track, the elegant "Atras da Potras," and pianist Enrico Pieranunzi's soft finale, "Persona."

Technically creative and harmonically rich in melodic color, Pagan delivers one for all time on Three for the Ages—a superior recording leaving little doubt that this pianist is a dynamic artist and musical force in today's jazz world.

Track Listing

You Don't Know What Love Is; Gethsemane; How Deep is the Ocean; Falling in Love; I Should Care; Three for the Ages; Atras da Porta; The Best Thing for You; Persona.

Personnel

Michael Pagan: piano; Bob Bowman: bass; Ray DeMarchi: drums.

Album information

Title: Three for the Ages | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Capri Records

Comments


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Tags

More

Blue Topaz
Peter Hand
Midnight Rose
Paul Rodgers
Open Me: A Higher Consciousness of Sound and...
Kahil El'Zabar's Ethnic Heritage Ensemble
Modern Art Trio
Franco D'Andrea, Franco Tonani, Bruno Tommaso.

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.