Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chris Pasin: Detour Ahead

H20 Records
By Ric Bang • Originally published in The Davis Enterprise, 12.10.09
Buy CD: Detour Ahead

I bet you've never heard of Chris Pasin.

He's a trumpet player/composer/arranger who was a sideman with several bands during the 1980s, including one fronted by Buddy Rich. But Pasin dropped off the music scope for 16 years to raise a family, and is just now playing jazz again around the New York area.

This is a debut album for Pasin, although it was recorded way back in 1987, before he took his extended sabbatical. Because much has changed during the intervening years, this is something of a time capsule.

At the time, Pasin headed a quintet that included Steve Slagle (reeds), Benny Green (piano), Rufus Reid (bass) and Dannie Richmond (drums). The group swings quite nicely.

Pasin wrote six of the eight tracks; the two others are covers of the standards “Detour Ahead” and “My Romance.” The group sounds like many of the small units that abounded on both the West and East coasts in the '80s, which is a compliment.

Although it sounds contradictory, these guys are “tight” during the ensemble passages, yet achieve a “loose” feel during the solos, thanks to the fine rhythm section. Pasin is an excellent musician; his tone is crystal clear, and his solos are inventive. Green and Reid are great, as always.

It's a pleasure to have Pasin back in the saddle.

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