As he says in the liner notes, the bassist always felt that Chapin wrote "Big Band music for trio" and each piece on the disc - whether written by Chapin or Pavone - vouches for that. There is some ballad playing (Chapin’s "Aeolus") but mostly Pavone, pianist Peter Madsen and drummer Matt Wilson attack this music with the intensity of three wolverines fighting over a lamb chop. The music - so much bigger than the trio format would indicate - shouts, sputters and rumbles with the pop of brass that’s not there. Pavone’s bass, always miraculously big, here slaps and tickles the sonic swirl along driving his band mates on to rambunctious heights. Chapin’s "Bypass" is more beautiful noise than six hands can humanly muster and "Aeolus" shows these three can play with soul aching poignancy as well. It’s as if the three are fighting to raise the saxophonist from the grave.
Try as I might, I cannot find a detraction for this exemplary disc except to say that Peter Madsen’s piano cannot come close to appropriating the ferocious organism that is Thomas Chapin’s saxophone. That’s not intended as a knock but as a plea for those who enjoy the free frolicking edge of this music to go on and seek out Chapin’s catalog. His playing is truly life affirming.