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), 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. Orange Orange, the second release from Mario Pavone's Nu Trio/Quintet in as many years, is the follow-up to the all-star group's acclaimed 2002 debut, Mythos, which was named to best of the year lists by the Village Voice, AllAboutJazz and Slate.com. In the same vein as it's predecessor, Orange features four tracks by the veteran bassist/composer's core trio, which first recorded 1999's Remembering Thomas (Knitting Factory), along with five quintet tracks, which add trumpeter/arranger Steven Bernstein and tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby. Featuring: Mario Pavone - bass Steven Bernstein - trumpet, slide trumpet Tony Malaby - tenore saxophone Peter Madsen - piano Gerald Cleaver - drums Rave Reviews: 4 1/2 Stars - Downbeat Best of 2004 list - Greg Buium, Coda Pavone, who wrote all the tunes, has worked extensively with the likes of Anthony Braxton and Thomas Chapin, and can play inside or outside with equal facility. His work is never flashy, but it's deeply centered. Orange is a tasty helping of venturesome modern jazz. - Stuart Kremsky, IAJRC Journal ...Pavone's postbop compositions mix a biting intelligence with a hard-wound feel for the blues. - Aaron Steinberg, JazzTimes Bassist Mario Pavone shapes lean, wiry music. Though never too austere to welcome charm, Orange promotes sinew, strength and deliberation that never becomes ponderous. Behind the foreground action, Pavone and Madsen strike deep dialogue. - Randal McIlroy, Coda Very, very few jazz bassists can cover the range that Mario Pavone swings on Orange. - Nils Jacobson, AllAboutJazz ...Orange continues Pavone's streak of strong programs. Pavone may be over 60 years old but his music retains a youthful zeal. He continues to search for ways to express and expand his sound and to create sonic landscapes that allow his fellow musicians to develop their own voices. - Richard Kamins, Hartford Courant The bassist Mario Pavone works his strings with the force and persistence of a sculptor chipping away at granite. The sheer dynamism of his playing is matched by the lustre of his writing and arranging for small bands. - The New Yorker The band displays great depth as they bob and weave throughout the upbeat numbers that skirt the fringes of free jazz and the straight and narrow. Madsen's melodically woven, upper register chord voicings on the piece titled 'Rebass Song,' signifies just one of the album's many highlights. - Glenn Astarita, AllAboutJazz (New & Noteworthy 01/04) Bernstein's slow-burning ascent and greasy slurs in 'Goorootoo' climax in a shower of sparks; the rhythm section deftly shadows his descent. Quietly creeping into Bernstein's wake, Malaby investigates lines and chords from every angle, before combusting in his own pyrotechnic display. Peter Madsen, Pavone's piano foil for more than a decade, provides his usual, reliable support throughout the session (and cuts loose with gleeful abandon on four trio cuts), while new drummer Gerald Cleaver sounds like he was born to drive this vehicle. - Steve Smith, Time Out-New York Pavone's agreeable music should hold appeal for listeners of both inside and outside persuasions, from those enamored of hard bop and post-bop through to those favoring more open-ended styles of jazz exploration. Orange deserves space on the shelf next to classic Blue Note, Prestige, and Riverside releases, as well as jazz discs of more recent vintage from New World, Tzadik, and Knitting Factory, not to mention Playscape. What stronger recommendation could be made? - Dave Lynch, All Music Guide Orange is one of his best: juicy and refreshing. - Kevin Whitehead, Absolute Sound ...while these tunes keep chaos at bay with tightly composed melodies, chaos is given it's due through the exciting and risky soloing of the musicians...throughout Orange, the best of Pavone's music, whether for trio or quintet, is on full display. - Jeff Stockton, AllAboutJazz-New York Bassist Mario Pavone continues to offer exciting and stimulating music on this latest work with his quintet and trio. As for the compositions, what makes them so compelling is the spontaneity, despite the written lines, and the high caliber soloists, who consistently provide substance for interested ears. This is a superb release...with both soulful and complex patters for the multi-faceted listener. - Jay Collins, Cadence Orange, the second disc by Pavone's Nu Trio/Quintet, sets the bar extremely high. Nine neatly calibrated originals-four trios, five quintets-are masterful examples of group interplay, rooted in a compelling union of smarts and intuition, predetermined and ephemeral forms. At the heart of things is an extraordinary pulse-sometimes swinging, sometimes grinding and sometimes sliced into pieces. - Greg Buium, DownBeat Pick of the Week - The Jazz Excursion (11/3/03 Recommended New Release - Laurence Donohue-Greene, AllAboutJazz-New York (02/04 Publisher's Pick - Michael Ricci, AllAboutJazz (11/30/03) 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) 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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