Photo by Jan Carlos Hernandez
Photo by Enid Farber
Mario Pavone told critic Kevin Whitehead, “I always wanted to do something with accordion...I can still recall those Italian, Portuguese and Polish accordions (in postwar Waterbury), that front stoop music.” With that, Street Songs: The Accordion Project was born. This is, by his own account and that of critics and grantors, the most productive period of his musical life, a life that began in earnest when he put down his sliderule (he was a young engineer), went to John Coltrane’s funeral and never looked back.
Bassist/composer Mario Pavone has collaborated with legendary innovators and today's most talented young musicians defining the cutting edge of jazz for 40 years. He has anchored the trios of Paul Bley, Bill Dixon, and the late Thomas Chapin and co-led ensembles with Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith, Marty Ehrlich, and Michael Musillami. His list of sidemen past and present includes Steven Bernstein, Gerald Cleaver, Dave Douglas, Peter Madsen, Tony Malaby, Joshua Redman, George Schuller, Michael Sarin, Craig Taborn, Tyshawn Sorey and Matt Wilson.
He has 17 recordings as a leader/co-leader, including his acclaimed 2006 release, Deez to Blues, on Playscape Recordings. Among his awards are a NewWorks grant from Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation and a Distinguished Artists Grant from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. In addition to his ongoing activities as a bandleader, Pavone's artwork and photography have graced the covers of dozens of recordings. He currently serves as an educator, administrator and board member for the Litchfield Jazz Festival and Litchfield Jazz Camp in Connecticut.
Mario Pavone, bass/compositions, appears in this performance with Dave Ballou on cornet and flugelhorn, Peter McEachern on trombone, Gary Buttery on tuba, Matt Mitchell on piano, Adam Matlock on accordion, Carl Testa on bass, Leise Ballou on French horn, Gary Buttery on tuba and Steve Johns on drums. This is Mario's 8th appearance at Litchfield Jazz Festival and his 7th as a leader.
Front thumbnail image by Steven Laschever