Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mario Pavone - Ancestors (Playscape, 2008)

Bassist and composer Mario Pavone's latest disc is a very exciting example of full bodied modern jazz that draws from strong history of the music with a deep injection of avant-garde. He is joined by Tony Malaby and Jimmy Greene on tenor and soprano saxophones, Peter Madsen on piano and Gerald Cleaver on drums. The twin saxophone lineup along with the strength of Cleaver and Madsen's propulsive and percussive playing make this a very muscular sounding disc. The opening track, "Ancestors" sets the mood for the rest of the album with a deep pocket by the bass and drums and dark hued Andrew Hill influenced piano from Madsen. Super hot saxophone solos propel this one into the stratosphere. On "Strata Blue" which has a nice swinging feel and "Iskmix" Greene and Malaby dig deep and use some over some deeply physical saxophone and overblowing to very good effect. "Tomes" has throbbing and propulsive bass like a heartbeat, and climaxes with strong overblown tenor sax. "Arc For Puppy" has some high pitched skittering soprano, almost puppy like in its yelping. "Pachuca" is a feature for Madsen, who gets a Taylor-like percussion out of the piano. The tribute "Andrew" is an explosive highlight, with some extraordinary tenor saxophone and piano playing. I liked this album a lot, there are no half measures here, the musicians are going for if from the first note. There is a tremendous vitality andenergy to the music here, which shines throughout the length of the album.

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