Orange: Mario Pavone Nu Trio/Quintet
Mario Pavone – bass/composer
Steven Bernstein – trumpet/arranger
Tony Malaby – tenor saxophone
Peter Madsen – piano
Gerald Cleaver – drums
1. Blue Rex
2. Triple Diamond
3. Sky Tango
4. Drop Op
5. Rebass
6. Burnt Sweet Orange
7. Goorootoo
8. Box In Orange
9. Language
Orange, the second release from Mario Pavone's Nu Trio/Quintet in as many years, is the follow-up to the all-star group's acclaimed 2002 debut, Mythos, which was named to best of the year lists by the Village Voice, AllAboutJazz and In the same vein as its predecessor, Orange features four tracks by the veteran bassist/composer's core trio, which first recorded 1999's Remembering Thomas (Knitting Factory), along with five quintet tracks, which add trumpeter/arranger Steven Bernstein and tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby.
4 1/2 Stars
— Downbeat
Best of 2004 list
— Greg Buium, Coda
Pavone, who wrote all the tunes, has worked extensively with the likes of Anthony Braxton and Thomas Chapin, and can play inside or outside with equal facility. His work is never flashy, but it's deeply centered. Orange is a tasty helping of venturesome modern jazz.
— Stuart Kremsky, IAJRC Journal
...Pavone's postbop compositions mix a biting intelligence with a hard-wound feel for the blues.
— Aaron Steinberg, JazzTimes
Bassist Mario Pavone shapes lean, wiry music. Though never too austere to welcome charm, Orange promotes sinew, strength and deliberation that never becomes ponderous. Behind the foreground action, Pavone and Madsen strike deep dialogue.
— Randal McIlroy, Coda
Very, very few jazz bassists can cover the range that Mario Pavone swings on Orange.
— Nils Jacobson, AllAboutJazz
...Orange continues Pavone's streak of strong programs. Pavone may be over 60 years old but his music retains a youthful zeal. He continues to search for ways to express and expand his sound and to create sonic landscapes that allow his fellow musicians to develop their own voices.
— Richard Kamins, Hartford Courant
The bassist Mario Pavone works his strings with the force and persistence of a sculptor chipping away at granite. The sheer dynamism of his playing is matched by the lustre of his writing and arranging for small bands.
— The New Yorker
The band displays great depth as they bob and weave throughout the upbeat numbers that skirt the fringes of free jazz and the straight and narrow. Madsen's melodically woven, upper register chord voicings on the piece titled 'Rebass Song,' signifies just one of the album's many highlights.
— Glenn Astarita, AllAboutJazz (New & Noteworthy 01/04)
Bernstein's slow-burning ascent and greasy slurs in 'Goorootoo' climax in a shower of sparks; the rhythm section deftly shadows his descent. Quietly creeping into Bernstein's wake, Malaby investigates lines and chords from every angle, before combusting in his own pyrotechnic display. Peter Madsen, Pavone's piano foil for more than a decade, provides his usual, reliable support throughout the session (and cuts loose with gleeful abandon on four trio cuts), while new drummer Gerald Cleaver sounds like he was born to drive this vehicle.
— Steve Smith, Time Out-New York
Pavone's agreeable music should hold appeal for listeners of both inside and outside persuasions, from those enamored of hard bop and post-bop through to those favoring more open-ended styles of jazz exploration. Orange deserves space on the shelf next to classic Blue Note, Prestige, and Riverside releases, as well as jazz discs of more recent vintage from New World, Tzadik, and Knitting Factory, not to mention Playscape. What stronger recommendation could be made?
— Dave Lynch, All Music Guide
Orange is one of his best: juicy and refreshing.
— Kevin Whitehead, Absolute Sound
...while these tunes keep chaos at bay with tightly composed melodies, chaos is given its due through the exciting and risky soloing of the musicians...throughout Orange, the best of Pavone's music, whether for trio or quintet, is on full display.
— Jeff Stockton, AllAboutJazz-New York
Bassist Mario Pavone continues to offer exciting and stimulating music on this latest work with his quintet and trio. As for the compositions, what makes them so compelling is the spontaneity, despite the written lines, and the high caliber soloists, who consistently provide substance for interested ears. This is a superb release...with both soulful and complex patters for the multi-faceted listener.
— Jay Collins, Cadence
Orange, the second disc by Pavone's Nu Trio/Quintet, sets the bar extremely high. Nine neatly calibrated originals – four trios, five quintets – are masterful examples of group interplay, rooted in a compelling union of smarts and intuition, predetermined and ephemeral forms. At the heart of things is an extraordinary pulse – sometimes swinging, sometimes grinding and sometimes sliced into pieces.
— Greg Buium, DownBeat
Pick of the Week
— The Jazz Excursion (11/3/03)
Recommended New Release
— Laurence Donohue-Greene, AllAboutJazz-New York (02/04)
Publisher's Pick
— Michael Ricci, AllAboutJazz (11/30/03)
Best New Releases of 2003 List
— David Adler, AllAboutJazz-New York
Best of 2003 List
— Nils Jacobson, Managing Editor: AllAboutJazz