Michael Pagán

 

Three for the AgesCapri ***

Pianist and composer Michael Pagán has already made a big band album ( Pag’s Groove) for the Capri label, and this trio recording with his regulars (drummer Ray DeMarchi and the superb bassist, Bob Bowman) is, in its way, just as arresting. The emphasis is on slow to slow-medium tempos, but the trio bring a spark of freshness to what they do that lifts it above expert, if derivative, mainstream competency. Grounded in jazz but with a deep classical background, as a soloist Pagán thinks compositionally while always sounding spontaneous. It’s a trait that clearly impacts on the others, giving their work a unity and interest that, at its best, is a cut above most trios in the idiom. Particularly striking are their explorations of You Don’t Know What Love Is, I Should Care,a seldom-played, gorgeous slow bossa, Atrás da Porta, and a beautiful version of Pieranunzi’s Persona. See caprirecords.com