- Artist: Mario Pavone
- Format: CD
- Release Date:12/18/2008
Bassist/composer Mario Pavone has collaborated with both legendary innovators and today's most respected young musicians to consistently define the cutting edge of jazz for the past 40 years. He has anchored the trios of Paul Bley (1968-72 & 2008), Bill Dixon (1980's), and the late Thomas Chapin (1990-97), and co-led a variety of notable ensembles with Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith, Marty Ehrlich, and Michael Musillami. His list of sidemen past and present includes Steven Bernstein, Gerald Cleaver, Dave Douglas, Peter Madsen, Tony Malaby, Joshua Redman, George Schuller, Michael Sarin, Craig Taborn, and Matt Wilson among many others. And, unlike most artists whose careers span five decades, his most recent recordings are his most widely acclaimed, appearing on best-of-the-year lists from Slate.com, AllAboutJazz.com, AllAboutJazz-New York, Coda, the Village Voice, and the New York Times among others. Although a long career in jazz awaited him, Pavone never received formal music training and didn't seriously encounter jazz until his freshman year at the University of Connecticut in 1958. Growing up in Waterbury, Connecticut, he developed a fondness for black R&B vocal groups, as well as the 1940's movie music he heard as a child, but a college friend's jazz record collectionâ€"and seeing John Coltrane one fateful night at the Village Vanguard in 1961â€"set him on the musical path. With legendary guitarist/fellow Waterbury native Joe Diorio's encouragement, Pavone rented a bass in the summer of 1964 and began plucking out the percussive sound that would become his trademark. He was playing professionally by 1965, though his full-time job was putting his Industrial Engineering degree to work for major corporations. Upon hearing the news about Coltrane's death in 1967, he left his briefcase on his desk, got in the car, and drove to the funeral, where he decided on the spot to dedicate the rest of his life to music. He toured Europe with Paul Bley in 1968, and performed on the pianist's recording, Canada (Radio Canada), with Barry Altschul. Soon after he met vibraphonist/composer Bobby Naughton, among others, and became a part of New York's early 70's loft scene with groups like Bill Dixon's Orchestra of the Streets. By 1975, he was a founding member of the New Haven, Connecticut-based Creative Music Improvisers Forum (CMIF), with Naughton, Wadada Leo Smith, Gerry Hemingway, Wes Brown, Reverend Dwight Andrews and others, which produced concerts and recordings that gave musicians more control over their own music. In 1980, Pavone began an 18-year musical relationship with Thomas Chapin, which would lead to a number of collaborations, most notably Chapin's seminal trio with drummer Michael Sarin. Around the same time, Pavone recorded his first titles as a leader, 1979's Digit and 1981's Shodo on his own Alacra label, crediting Naughton and Smith with motivating him to write his own music and teaching him about open-ended composition. Since Chapin's untimely death in 1998, Pavone has recorded exclusively with his own bands, with the exception of his son Michael's 2001 debut, Trio (Playscape). His discography now features 17 recordings as a leader/co-leader, including his acclaimed 2006 release, Deez to Blues, on Playscape Recordings, the label he has called home since 1999. In addition to his ongoing activities as a bandleader, Pavone's artwork and photography have graced the covers of dozens of recordings since the mid 90's, and he currently serves as an educator, administrator and board member for the Litchfield Jazz Festival and Litchfield Summer Jazz Camp in Litchfield, Connecticut. Trio Arc Featuring: Mario Pavone - bass w/ special guest, Paul Bley - piano Matt Wilson - drums Rave Reviews: Top 10 of 2008 list - â€" David R. Adler, Jazzhouse.org **** 1/2...Thereâ€™s a sense that the tracks on Trio Arc are not so much seven discrete recordings but part of a continuum that is tuned into from time to time, snapshots representing facets of a greater whole...unlike many free-form dates, thereâ€™s no time wasted on searching for common ground or playing tug-of-war between divergent visions. Each of the six trio pieces (the disc ends with a brief solo performance by Bley) is concise and focused. â€" Shaun Brady, DownBeat The six spontaneous group inventions provide evidence of the trioâ€™s synergy, which produces music full of free-spiritedness and open thinking. Bley is the chief catalyst, luminously restless, tossing forth glistening melodies and elliptical motifs with an eye for momentum. Bleyâ€™s partners are right at his back, with Pavoneâ€™s electrifying pizzicato work stoking excursions like the bouyant â€œSlant.â€ Wilsonâ€™s joyously propulsive drums enliven each cut... â€" Jay Collins, Signal to Noise Bley never gives a bad performance and here heâ€™s on top of his form...whatâ€™s truly special about this session is that Pavone and Wilson clearly just did their own thing, while Bley found a way to fit in and fill the spaces. Listen to the excellent 'Lazzi' and the lovely shape-shifting 'Sweet.' They seem to define everything thatâ€™s so good about this album. â€" Duncan Heining, Jazzwise The resulting trio creates vibrant, interactive improvisations that can stand comparison with that great late-'60s Bley group. The conversational give-and-take between the three players is fresh and exciting. This is 'free' jazz in the best sense of the word, free of agenda or ideology, and totally committed to collective creativity without preconceptions or limits. â€" Ted Gioia, Jazz.com (Song of the Day 6/25/08) What a reunion, and Wilson fits right in. The symbiosis of Pavone and Wilson is remarkable. It is a beautiful amalgam of sounds, and it leaves the listener wanting more. â€" Steve Greenlee, JazzTimes The energy of this record is restless; the music searches, explores and stretches. It is the sound of three minds listening to each other's ideas with such intensity as to make the ensemble sound irresistibly tense and compellingâ€"an aural cliffhanger. â€" Craig Schum, Beyond Race Recommended New Release (July 2008) â€" David Adler, AllAboutJazz-New York Recommended New Release (June 2008) â€" Laurence Donohue-Greene, AllAboutJazz-New York The teamwork between the three is nothing short of breathtaking, the empathy enormous, and the music itself at a very high level. A must have for lovers of this kind of spontaneous composition; this is not so much a throwback to the â€-60s as a modern update, and a welcome one indeed. â€" Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide There are many moments to savor...Trio Arc is a disc of music as timeless and innovative as only a piano trio can be. â€" Robert Iannapollo, AllAboutJazz-New York Sensitive and probing, Pavone's bass playing is graced with collective empathy and individual melodic inventions that create arias amid even the most airborne flights...Bley explores resonant new corners with varied tonal colors, wry dissonance, surprising intervals, muted timbres in the bass and even, briefly, by plucking the piano's inside strings. Brilliant throughout, Wilson works with a rich palette of colors, always a painter, never a pounder. â€" Owen McNally, Hartford Courant This is my favorite piano trio disc of 2008, without any doubt. â€" Owen McNally, Hartford Courant Recorded with no rehearsal or discussion about the possible outcome, these seven tunes demonstrate the trio's intuitive abilities as they modulate between fervid expressionism and restrained finesse; their excursions offer a concise balance of instrumental sonorities, sensitive interplay and dynamic range. A modern classic, Trio Arc is a superlative and timeless example of free improvisation. â€" Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com The surprise here is that Trio Arc is a freely improvised session. Once or twice, I detected echoes of Pavone's early 'Bass Ballad' and even a snatch in the bass of Tom Chapin's 'Aeolus', but for the most part, these are flowing, organic ideas that make Keith Jarrett's experiments in the same area sound almost deliberate. Thatâ€™s not an entirely casual byblow, because the only contemporary figure really comparable to Pavone is Gary Peacock. â€" Brian Morton, Jazz Review Minds rarely meet as closely as they do here, and the results are profoundly singular, indicative that even a formula as staid as the piano trio can be compelling in the right hands. â€" Nic Jones, AllAboutJazz.com Hereâ€™s to tripping over premature conclusions! On his day, Mario Pavone is one of the very best â€" and when heâ€™s on his game, by far the best â€" small group composer/leaders working on the East Coast. Pavoneâ€™s sound is rich, sitting back with the group rather than punching a hole in the sonic plaster and making a space for himself outside. An exemplary piece of writing, of arranging, of playing, and of recording and production. â€" Brian Morton, Point of Departure Pavone's groove is like quicksand seemingly firm yet ready to suck in the careful listener...Malaby and pianist Peter Madsen are surefooted as they negotiate this rhythmic quagmire, drawing inspiration from it's complexity rather than being stymied. [Pavone] seems to be giving voice to an inner ritual drummer. That beat sets the tone for yet another fine session under his leadership. â€" David DuPont, Cadence Veteran bassist Mario Pavone has been producing a body of work acclaimed by the jazz cogniscenti, though it doesn't receive as much attention as it deserves...this set is a fine example of what contemporary jazz should be about. â€" Marc ChÃ©nard, Coda Best of 2004 list â€" Jerry D'Souza, Coda & â€" Alan Lankin, Jazzmatazz If anything, Pavoneâ€™s Boom is among the most melodically delightful, musically proficent works issued on the Playscape label... â€" Ron Wynn, JazzTimes Pavone writes pieces full of smart angular swagger and the group nails them with assurance, collectively stretching them with an elastic sense of free swing. [His] stalwart bass provides is in evidence throughout, voicing the themes, playing counterpoint to piano and reeds, and stepping out for trenchant solos. Here is a band steeped in the tradition from bop to freedom, with the smarts and originality to make music that grabs the listener from start to finish. â€" Michael Rosenstein Signal to Noise Favorite Recordings of 2004 List. â€" Maurice Hogue, CKUW Top 10 New Releases of 2004 List â€" Laurence Donohue-Greene, AllAboutJazzâ€"New York The bulk of the set highlights Pavoneâ€™s compositional skillsâ€"pieces that foster group interplay as they gnaw on underlying melodic fragments with unpredictable metric shifts, substantial collective creativity, and a sense of humor...another strong release emerging out of Pavoneâ€™s fruitful partnership with Playscape and this select group of exceptional instrumentalists. â€" Jay Collins, One Final Note They chip in and put all the pieces together so compactly that it would be hard to imagine any other band reaching in and reacting to the music as marvellously as they have done. To tip the hat to that clichÃ©, Pavone wears a coat of many colours. He writes with an ear for melody, but it is his intuition in adding the breadth and the scope, in the constant reshaping of the song, that makes his music so exceptional. â€" Jerry D'Souza, AllAboutJazz Mario's powerful acoustic bass is at the center, pushing and pumping as the piano and drums swirl around him tightly and Malaby's great soprano and tenor dance above performing a number of inspired solos. Both Tony and the extraordinary pianist, Peter Madsen, are gifted soloists and are spirited throughout. Another year and another classic gem from Mario Pavone! â€" Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery What makes Marioâ€™s music remarkable and, ultimately, strangely appealing, is it's combination of a freer sensibility with a rhythmic approach that usually maintains something resembling established time. A thrilling combination of the oblique and the clearly-stated, Pavone continues to move the tradition forward with every record. â€" John Kelman, AllAboutJazz Discography As a leader: Digit (Alacra, 1979) Shodo (Alacra, 1981) Sharpeville (Alacra, 1988; reissued Playscape, 2000) Toulon Days (New World/Countercurrents, 1992) Song for (Septet) (New World/Countercurrents, 1995) Dancer's Tales (Knitting Factory, 1997) Remembering Thomas (Knitting Factory, 1999) Totem Blues (Knitting Factory, 2001) Mythos (Playscape, 2002) Orange (Playscape, 2003) Boom (Playscape, 2004) Deez to Blues (Playscape, 2006) Ancestors (Playscape 2008) Trio Arc (Playscape 2008) As a co-leader with Anthony Braxton: Nine Duets (Music and Arts, 1993)â€¨ Seven Standards (Knitting Factory, 1994) As a co-leader with Michael Musillami: Op-Ed (Playscape, 2000) Motion Poetry (Playscape, 2001) Pivot (Playscape, 2002) With Thomas Chapin: Third Force (Knitting Factory, 1990) Insomnia (Knitting Factory, 1991) Anima (Knitting Factory, 1992) Menagerie Dreams (Knitting Factory, 1994) Haywire (Knitting Factory, 1996) Sky Piece (Knitting Factory, 1998) Nightbird Song (Knitting Factory, 1999) Alive (8-CD set) (Knitting Factory, 1999) Ride (Playscape, 2006) With Bill Dixon November 1981 (Soul Note, 1981) Thoughts (Soul Note, 1985) Son of Sisyphus (Soul Note, 1988) With Others: Samm Bennett :: Knitting Factory Tours Europe 1991 (Knitting Factory, 1991) Sangeeta Michael Berardi :: Divine Song (New Pulse Artists, 1979) Paul Bley :: Canada (Radio Canada, 1968) Paul Bley and Annette Peacock :: Dual Unity (Tokuma, 1971) Creative Improvisers Orchestra :: The Sky Cries the Blues (CMIF, 1982) Vernon Frazer :: Sex Queen of the Berlin Turnpike (Woodcrest, 1988) Motation :: Live At Hillside (Alacra, 1988) Michael Pavone :: Trio (Playscape, 2001) Dan Rose :: Close Opposites (Alacra, 1979) Anthony Braxton / Dave Douglas :: Splash (2005)
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