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Mario Pavone: Totem Blues

Glenn Astarita By

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Having spent several fruitful years performing with the late, great saxophonist/composer, Thomas Chapin amid numerous session dates, bassist/composer, Mario Pavone renders his third Knitting Factory Records release titled, Totem Blues. Here, the bassist utilizes the laudable talents of long time running mates, pianist Peter Madsen and drummer Matt Wilson along with some up and comers and ex-Duke Ellington trombonist, Art Baron.

Pavone's modus operandi consists of oscillating rhythms, tightly woven horn charts and multi-layered tonalities, while the band maintains a brisk pace throughout. The New York City-based artist seemingly chronicles the hustle and bustle of a colorful metropolis, brimming with geometrically opposed angles as the band often engages in linear themes atop simmering swing vamps. On "Poet O Central Park," Baron prominently displays his full-bodied tone, as Madsen staggers and accelerates the flow via his mammoth block chords and wily permutations.

"Bella Avo Fero" rekindles notions of Gillespie and Parker engaging in sprightly be-bop choruses, whereas Pavone's booming, walking bass lines and Wilson's loose pulse provide the ammo for what sounds like an old fashioned, after hours cutting session. However, Pavone strips away all the gloss and gets his point across in rather meticulous fashion during these altogether riveting works.


Track Listing: 1. Not Five Kimono 2. Sequence 3. Totem 4. Poet O Central Park 5. Bass Song 6. Bella Avo Fero 7. Otic 8. New socks 9. Odette 10. Cherry Bars

Personnel: Mario Pavone: bass; Jimmy Greene: tenor sax; George Sovak: tenor sax, clarinet; Mike Dirubbo: alto, soprano sax, clarinet; Art Baron: trombone; Peter Mceachern: trombone; Peter Madsen: piano; Matt Wilson: drums

Title: Totem Blues | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Knitting Factory


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