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Mythos by Mario Pavone

Originally trained as an industrial engineer, Pavone did not begin playing the bass until his early twenties. The story goes that when Coltrane died in 1967, he attended Coltrane’s funeral, left his job in engineering, and bailed headlong into a jazz bass career.

His music retains an austere quality, an almost Corbusier-like feel: modern, bold and sharp. His musical geography is like an urban street grid defined by an immensity of space with tall buildings on defined lots that are dense and geometric. The old blues foundation that is funky and organic has been demolished and replaced by structures that are logical and meticulous, almost like the glass skyscrapers that were built in New York City after World War II. Like those structures, the music is dissonantly stark next to its surroundings. Sentimentality is not evident. There is a machine-like bustle, but the music sounds coolly precise, neat, and in control. Clearly, Pavone’s engineering sensibility remains pervasive in his compositions.

This is not to say that the music is without pleasure or that listening to the music is akin to staring at a lifeless geometrical steel facade. It is anything but. Think of Pavone’s music as representing different aspects or skewed angles of his envisioned city, like changing reflections of oneself in a jagged piece of broken glass. His city is populated with a range of characters confronting a too neatly defined world. His music is fearless and cathartic.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Mario Pavone
  • CD Title: Mythos
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Playscape
  • Tracks: Diode, Dialect, Odeon, Sky Piece, Mythos, Crutch for the Crab, Dancer’s Tales, Interlude, Isobars, Fablet, And Then We Wrote
  • Musicians: Mario Pavone (bass), Steven Bernstein (trumpet), Tony Malaby (tenor saxophone), Peter Madsen (piano), Matt Wilson (drums), Michael Sarin (drums)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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