Bird is the Worm – Mario Pavone – Blue Dialect

By Dave Sumner

Mario Pavone has a new album out. The veteran bassist can always be relied upon to present challenging music that directly engages the listener, refusing to allow the ear to fall into a state of passive listening. Blue Dialect keeps that reputation intact. Adopting a classic piano trio formation, Pavone is joined by drummer Tyshawn Sorey and pianist Matt Mitchell.

There is a Monk-like tunefulness to much of this music, with a melody that bounces crisply along the surface of unconventional and aggressive rhythms. Hints of a hurried swing cut between percussive attacks that skitter right along with a rapid-fire pulse or those where each of the trio members express the tempo through their own point of view before coalescing near a song’s conclusion.

There aren’t any sit-back-and-bliss moments on this recording. Tempos keep to a brisk pace and melodies are to the point. The compositions provide a nice framework for dialog, and improvisations don’t stray too far from the pack.

A solid recording from an artist whose catalog you should spend some time exploring.


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