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 Wednesday, 23 July 2014
Michael Pagán Trio, “Three for the Ages” (2010, Capri Records) PDF Print
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
Monday, 08 February 2010

ImageMichael Pagán’s new trio release reminds me that there are very likely to be some diamonds in the haystack of new CDs piling up on my office floor. Only bassist Bob Bowman, once on tour with Karrin Allyson, was a familiar name. Currently on the faculty of the University of Missouri/Kansas City Conservatory and a native Ohioan, Pagán undeservedly flies below the national jazz radar. This is as masterful a piano trio effort as one can hear, anywhere, covering thoughtful ballads, midtempo swing, and the gorgeous original title track. From the first lyrical notes of “You Don’t Know What Love Is” to the last of the less familiar, equally lovely phrasing of Enrico Pieranunzi’s “Persona,” Pagán delivers with clarity, reverence for melody, harmonic choices that reflect a broad emotional palette, and luxurious spaces that allow each note to breathe fully. Bassist Bowman is a perfect foil and artful soloist throughout, drummer Ray DeMarchi a shimmering timekeeper. 

This one may be a sleeper, but it warrants full attention, wide awake. Given this treat, I think I will spend the weekend digging through that pile of “unknowns.” But it will be hard to find one to top Three for the Ages, or a title that so aptly fits the ensemble.



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