Nodding to Jazz Tradition While Pursuing the Ideal

The Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet at the Iridium is reviewed.

Mario Pavone’s jazz can possibly be heard two different ways. His gig at Iridium on Wednesday night had two traditions running through it: the rhythmic and harmonic grids of bebop and all that descends from it, and the cathartic tracing-in-air of free jazz.

But that’s a pretty brain-first, ears-second way to put it. The mixture proposed by Mr. Pavone — his third way — represents its own tradition. And it’s a pretty old one, encompassing music made in the 1960s by Ornette Coleman, Andrew Hill, Jackie McLean, Paul Bley and many others.

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