August 5, 2009
Despite the fact that we’re already in the first week of August (the eighth month on the calendar for those of you scoring at home), the best-of lists for the first half of the year continue to trickle in.
This has been a pretty popular new trend this year, especially with bloggers, and late or no we’re not complaining, especially when our clients are still appearing on them.
And none of our clients has been found quite so list-worthy as Darcy James Argue, whose May debut, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam), continues to capture the hearts and minds of critics everywhere.
That includes both the Ottawa Citizen‘s Peter Hum and Village Voice and DownBeat contributor Jim Macnie, who also chose John Hébert’s Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12), the Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet’s Asphalt Flowers Forking Paths (hatOLOGY) and the Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet’s Ancestors (Playscape Recordings) among his favorites, though technically the last two actually came out in 2008.
As always, we thank all our media contacts for their ongoing support of independent creative improvised music.
July 2, 2009
Photo by Juan Carlos Hernandez
Eminent bassist/composer Mario Pavone will perform in New York with his newest ensemble, Quartet Arc, at The Stone on Saturday, August 22nd and The Local 269 on Sunday, August 23rd. These concerts mark the first-ever performances by this configuration of frequent Pavone collaborators, which performs new material as well as new arrangements of older music from Pavone’s vast catalog. Quartet Arc features tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, trumpeter Dave Ballou and drummers Tyshawn Sorey (August 22nd only) and Tom Rainey (August 23rd only).
“On his day,” declared veteran jazz reviewer Brian Morton in Point of Departure, “Mario Pavone is one of the very best—and when on his game, by far the best—small-group composer/leaders working on the East Coast.” Critics have called him “a smart composer” (Nate Chinen, New York Times) and “a protean bassist” (Paul Blair, Hot House) who “never fails to implant an effective hook” (Bill Shoemaker, DownBeat) and “continues to move the tradition forward with every record” (John Kelman, AllAboutJazz.com). His music has been described as “exciting and stimulating” (Jay Collins, Cadence), “sensitive and probing” (Owen McNally, Hartford Courant) and “full of smart angular swagger” (Michael Rosenstein, Signal to Noise).
Pavone has spent the past four decades defining the cutting edge of jazz, both as a sideman to legendary innovators and the leader of groups featuring some of today’s most respected young improvisers. As busy as ever at nearly 70 years old, he released two notable records in 2008: Trio Arc, featuring Paul Bley and Matt Wilson, and Ancestors, featuring his Double Tenor Quintet with Malaby and Jimmy Greene. So far this year he’s also performed with groups such as the Connecticut Improvising Composers Project and his intergenerational trio with Sorey and saxophonist Pete Robbins, which will perform at The Stone on August 21st. He was also awarded a 2009 New Jazz Works Grant from Chamber Music America.
Learn more at http://www.mariopavone.com
June 8, 2009
After an extended layover on the floor of the Gouverneur, NY post office, the Apr/May/Jun 2009 issue of Cadence arrived to subscribers this past week, and with it a number of enthusiastic reviews of our clients’ recent recordings.
Here are a few highlights:
David Kane calls the Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet’s Ancestors (Playscape Recordings) “a satisfying farrago of compositional and performance delights” and “a challenging set of captivating original tunes.” He adds, “This is aggro music with enough fire and drive to fuel the energy needs of a small African nation…forward looking, intelligently conceived aggressive jazz.”
In his review of the Mary Halvorson Trio’s debut, Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records), Philip McNally writes, “In her notes to this recording she mentions, surprisingly, that this is the first time she has written for the standard guitar trio. I find it hard to believe, as Dragon’s Head is so accomplished a recording. This is post-Bill Frisell guitar, a new voice on the instrument, and for that alone you should hear it.”
“It’s an adventurous, unexpected tribute,” declares David Dupont in his review of the Yoon Sun Choi/Jacob Sacks Duo’s Imagination: The Music of Joe Raposo (Yeah Yeah Records). “Choi impresses equally, whether clowning around and summoning inner animations or singing heartfelt lyrics. All this sets the lyrics in striking relief, wrenching them from their familiar context.”
“Petit Oiseau is an album that simultaneously celebrates jazz tradition and looks beyond it,” proclaims Michael Coyle in his review of the William Parker Quartet’s latest release. “This quartet has been playing together since the turn of the milennium and has that kind of rapport where they complete on another’s thoughts and finish one another’s sentences. Each member contributes sensitively and powerfully to the ensemble sound.”
February 5, 2009
AllAboutJazz-New York‘s Editorial Director Andrey Henkin reviews the Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet’s January 7th performance at Iridium in the February issue, available now.
The band, which features saxophonist Tony Malaby and Jimmy Greene, pianist Peter Madsen and drummer Gerald Cleaver, was celebrating its debut release, Ancestors (Playscape Recordings).
“Mario Pavone has been steadily creating his own compelling body of work for decades,” writes Henkin. “The churning rhythms were a roiling backdrop for the unique approaches of Malaby and Greene, the legacy of Joe Henderson taken in two very different directions. Even when the two horns sat for the earlier piece ‘East Arc’, Pavone’s compositional ethic was clear: he wants his music to keep generating momentum as it plunges forward. This mission suits Malaby particularly well, giving him the opportunity to apply his specific brand of virtuosic belligerence to some especially meaningful statements.”
This concert was also reviewed the following day by Ben Ratliff in the New York Times.
February 4, 2009
The Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet’s Ancestors (Playscape Recordings) and David S. Ware’s Shakti (AUM Fidelity) each receive four-star reviews in the current issue of DownBeat.
In his review of Ancestors, Bill Shoemaker notes the “smart, well-hooked compositions and a sterling rhythm section rounded out by Peter Madsen and Gerald Cleaver.” He adds, “Like its predecessors, the album has a rallying spirit and a progressive bead on traditional practice. It is what jazz needs from its eminent leaders.”
Michael Jackson writes, “As with Sonny Rollins, although Ware is an entirely different player, there is an uncompromising individuality to Ware’s approach.” He also singles out William Parker’s “deep-pawed bass”, Joe Morris’ “bulbous, bell-like sound” and Warren Smith’s “surround-sound polyrhythmic forest of splashes and rumbling toms”.
January 23, 2009
In a new post on his blog, Bay Area radio programmer Wedge, host of KZSU’s Memory Select on Friday’s from 3-6 p.m., delves into bassist/composer Mario Pavone‘s latest release, Ancestors (Playscape Recordings).
The recording, released in early November, is the debut of Pavone’s Double Tenor Quintet featuring saxophonists Tony Malaby and Jimmy Greene, pianist Peter Madsen and drummer Gerald Cleaver.
“It feels like a major step for an already accomplished leader,” he writes. “Malaby helped push boundaries on Pavone’s Boom album and sounds like he’s been let loose here. Greene is less rough-edged in his playing than Malaby but no less energetic, and the contrast of their styles is like an extra splash of color. You could argue [Madsen’s] got more to do with Ancestors’ sound than do the sax players. All this work is grounded by — sometimes led by — Pavone’s own thick, throttling bass lines and hardy solos, and Gerald Cleaver’s funky/free drumming. This is exciting, substantial stuff.”
January 16, 2009
AllAboutJazz.com has posted a compilation of “Best of 2008” lists from 36 of its contributors.
We’re proud to report the following client releases were named amongst the various writers’ top tens:
Jason Adasiewicz, Rolldown (482 Music)
The Blueprint Project with Han Bennink, People I Like (Creative Nation Music)
Bill Dixon, 17 Musicians In Search Of A Sound (Arts for Art/AUM Fidelity)
Garrison Fewell/Eric Hofbauer, The Lady of Khartoum (Creative Nation Music)
Mary Halvorson Trio, Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12)
William Parker Quartet, Petit Oiseau (AUM Fidelity)
Mario Pavone, Trio Arc (Playscape Recordings)
Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet, Ancestors (Playscape Recordings)
Eri Yamamoto Trio, Redwoods (AUM Fidelity)
Congratulations to all the musicians and labels recognized for their work in 2008.