Mythos is as powerful as its predecessor (1999's Remembering Thomas), but this time the Mario Pavone Nu Trio becomes a quintet on three tracks. The guests are trumpeter Steven Bernstein and tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, both of whom bring a fiery irreverence to Pavone's music. (Bernstein arranged two of the pieces he plays on, "Diode" and "Mythos.") The drum chair alternates between Matt Wilson and Michael Sarin, but monster pianist Peter Madsen stays put throughout, swinging furiously and supplying splendid vistas of harmonic color. Pavone revisits a number of previously recorded works, like "Dancers Tales" and "Isobars," and he meditates once again on the spirit of Thomas Chapin with a spacious reading of "Sky Piece." With the help of transcriptionist Peggy Stern, he also takes a crack at "Crutch for the Crab," an obscure and brilliant invention by the late Richard Twardzik. Pavone's sturdy bass playing anchors the session, leading the group through involved unison passages, consistently grooving solo statements, and inspired rubato dialogue (check out the breathtaking, amazingly concise "Fablet").
by David R. Adler