Anyone who has listened closely to the free-avant zone of jazz over the years has come to know double-bassist Mario Pavone as one of the most innovative, consistently creative practitioners of the art. He rarely comes to us as a leader of a date, but that is just what he does on the intriguing set Blue Dialect (Clean Feed 319).
He has chosen his bandmates with care. Pianist Matt Mitchell is fast becoming a pianist of genuine stature with some excellent work as a member of Tim Berne‘s Snakeoil and in other projects. Drummer Tyshawn Sorey rides at the top of the new wave of avant jazz drummers. Both together create a potent 2/3rds of the trio.
Mario presides with some excellent bass playing and a set of compositions (eight in all, with an additional number that is a collective improv) that are provocative and modern.
The tensile strength of the trio grabs you on first hearing and the impression remains in subsequent listens. Everybody pulls much weight for a moving result.
If Matt Mitchell gives us an open, blowing horn sort of pianism here, it fits the character of the compositions and gives lots of latitude for bass and drums to swing busily yet primally. The three-way interaction may extend outward from and simultaneously remind you of the classic Paul Bley trios of earlier days. That certainly fits with Mario’s excellent inward-outward bass playing stance. Tyshawn and Matt excel in their interpretations of their respective roles. This is not a glace backward so much as it is a journey forward with a mindfulness of the roots.
The results are beautiful. You should hear this one.