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. BOOM Boom features four musicians from those recent releases in a new streamlined quartet, performing new Pavone-penned pieces, as well as previously unrecorded material from the late multi-instrumentalist/composer Thomas Chapin, whom he played with as part of the renowned Thomas Chapin Trio. Featuring: Mario Pavone - bass Tony Malaby - tenor and soprano saxophones Peter Madsen - piano Matt Wilson - drums Rave Reviews: "The quartet deftly navigates Pavone's charts with tightly knit rhythmically charged ensemble heads and spacious solo sections. Pavone also rearranges two compositions by the late Thomas Chapin...They honor Chapin's legacy and fit comfortably alongside Pavone's originals, demonstrating how he continues to explore musical approaches they developed together, while maintaining his compositional identity.' - Sean Patrick Fitzell, AllAboutJazz - New York Pavone's and Wilson'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. - 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, 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 Pavone's originals are a well-turned lot, but the knockout performance is a scorching cover of "Bad Birdie", one of two previously unrecorded Thomas Chapin tunes included in the program. - Nate Dorward, Paris Transatlantic Boom is Pavone's latest on Playscape, featuring the bassist in a quartet setting with the dazzling Peter Madsen holding down the piano chair, alongside saxophonist Tony Malaby and drummer Matt Wilson. 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 Boom remarkable and, ultimately, strangely appealing, is it's combination of a freer sensibility with a rhythmic approach that usually maintains something resembling established time. Wilson's time may be loose, but it is still impeccable. A thrilling combination of the oblique and the clearly-stated, Boom is another fine offering from Pavone, who 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) 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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