Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Mario Pavone w/ Paul Bley and Matt Wilson - Trio Arc (Playscape, 2008)

One of bassist and composer Mario Pavone's earliest musical acquaintances was the pianst Paul Bley, they performed together during the late 1960's and recorded an album for ESP before going their seperate ways. Reuniting after nearly four decades and being joined by drummer Matt Walson they have recorded a disc of wide open improvisation by three masters of the genre. Some patience is required to unlock it's mysteries, but the music never grows stale and the time invested is well spent. "Slant" opens the disc with free sounding bass and drums setting the stage for the piano's entry. Bley comes in with a fast and tumbling feel to his playing. "Hello Again" features slow and probing piano full of wide open spaces. The bass and drums then join in on a dark collective improvisation. "Quest" has a throbbing bass pulse and Wilson skittering on cymbals, keeping the full bodied piano grounded. "Miro" is free and dark, like rolling thunderheads, and the delicate and probing piano found here is perfect for a performance dedicated to a visual artist. "Lazzi" has some odd plucked piano strings or prepared piano, and the bass played high up on the neck, making for a very interesting sound. "Sweet" is a milder trio improvisation with a neo-classical feel. The disc ends with "Solo Bley", a brief coda of solo piano ruminations to end the disc, completing a cycle that sounds like a suite.

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