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Album Review

Having gone through major changes in its eleven-year existence, little known Pago Libre finally recorded its first live album, from the "Sol Fest" Festival in Sicily, Italy. The quartet is a leaderless collective, with the unusual instrumentation for this CD of violin, French horn, piano, and string bass. In addition to French horn, the classically trained Arkady Shilkloper doubles on flugelhorn, which he also blows fluidly and flawlessly. Each of the members of the group contributed tunes, which are often surprisingly tame, though never less than fascinating. Pianist John Wolf Brennan takes the music to the edge on occasion, but on the whole, Pago Libre snugs close to its jazz roots, carefully exploring sound and colors. Judging from the audience reaction, the quartet must be a blast in concert, and much of that feeling is captured here.


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A drumless avant-garde jazz quartet, Pago Libre ally the wild side of the Ganelin Trio with a European touch of contemporary composition and a Mediterranean jazz feel. That is to say the group presents adventurous jazz using an unusual instrumentation: violin, piano, double bass, and French horn -- certainly a rarity. Composition and improvisation play equal roles; so do humor and emotion. The group has albums out on Splasc(h), Leo, and TCB. Contrary to popular belief, "Pago Libre" is not an Italian...
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Wake Up Call - Live In Italy, Pago Libre
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