363

Michael Pagan Trio: Three for the Ages

Edward Blanco 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.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Capri Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "In Tokyo, Japan" CD/LP/Track Review In Tokyo, Japan
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 16, 2016
Read "Inhuman Wilderness" CD/LP/Track Review Inhuman Wilderness
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 6, 2016
Read "Atticus Live!" CD/LP/Track Review Atticus Live!
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Momentum" CD/LP/Track Review Momentum
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "Ballast" CD/LP/Track Review Ballast
by Dave Wayne
Published: June 6, 2016
Read "Interstellar Space" CD/LP/Track Review Interstellar Space
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: May 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!