Mario Pavone | Ancestors - Double Tenor Quintet

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Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Jazz: Modern Free Jazz Moods: Featuring Bass
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Ancestors - Double Tenor Quintet

by Mario Pavone

Ancestors is an exemplary piece of writing, arranging and playing. Big booming bass tones without strain and compromise, a wonderful tribute album to Dewey Redman and Andrew Hill.
Genre: Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz
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1. Ancestors
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9:28 album only
2. Strata Blue
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5:52 album only
3. Tomes
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6:01 album only
4. Iskmix
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7:10 album only
5. Arc for Puppy
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7:58 album only
6. Beige Structure
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1:19 album only
7. Pachuca
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5:33 album only
8. Andrew
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7:54 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
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 collection—and seeing John Coltrane one fateful night at the Village Vanguard in 1961—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.


Ancestors
Featuring:
Mario Pavone - bass
Tony Malaby - tenor and soprano saxophones
Peter Madsen - piano
Jimmy Greene - tenor and soprano saxophones
Gerald Cleaver - drums

Rave Reviews:

This is bassist Mario Pavone's second release of 2008 and it's every bit as strong as the earlier Trio Arc, also on Playscape. In marked contrast to the piano trio featured there, the quintet fronted by two tenor saxes here is a more heated, volatile affair. The resulting contrast is as good an example as any of the amount of ground Pavone covers.
He's aided in that respect by having big ears. There are times here, as with the febrile animation of "Pachuca," where he's all over the music, as propulsive as any bass player worthy of the title should be, even while he's breaking the time and taking all sorts of liberties with it. The very idea of a two-tenor front line is potentially fraught with complication but Pavone has been scrupulous with regards to who occupies the roles. There's enough contrast in the respective approaches of Jimmy Greene and Tony Malaby to ensure that the feeling of sameness doesn't set in. Malaby's work is the more fractious of the two whilst Greene, working a freer seam than the one he might be more readily associated with, brings to his work a kind of agitated grace which is symptomatic of a multi-faceted musician who's really coming into his own. The degree to which the two men are simpatico is felt perhaps most strongly on the turbulently elegant "Strata Blue." Guitarist Michael Musillami's arrangement seems to breathe air into the composition and pianist Peter Madsen makes the most of his solo opportunity to turn in some intriguing variations. The fact that the rhythm trio is so flexible and alert to every possibility seems to lend the music an air of simplicity which is no small feat considering the complexity of the base material. – Nic Jones, All About Jazz

Here’s to tripping over premature conclusions! On his day, Mario Pavone is one of the very best – and when he’s on his game, by far the best – small group composer/leaders working on the East Coast. Pavone’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. – 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 its 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. — 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. — Marc Chénard,

Coda Best of 2004 list — Jerry D'Souza, Coda & — Alan Lankin, Jazzmatazz

If anything, Pavone’s Boom is among the most melodically delightful, musically proficent works issued on the Playscape label... — 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. — Michael Rosenstein

Signal to Noise Favorite Recordings of 2004 List. — Maurice Hogue, CKUW

Top 10 New Releases of 2004 List — Laurence Donohue-Greene, AllAboutJazz—New York

The bulk of the set highlights Pavone’s compositional skills—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 Pavone’s fruitful partnership with Playscape and this select group of exceptional instrumentalists. — 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 cliché, 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. — 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! — Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

What makes Mario’s music remarkable and, ultimately, strangely appealing, is its 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.
— 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)

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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