|On “Transmutations”, Pastor’s second CD, the ten tracks take material from diverse sources – Mozart to Ornette Coleman, pop to Coltrane, Jobim, show music and of course the blues – “transmuted” into excellent jazz vehicles.
Recorded at the Mascherona Studio In Genova, Italy, October 24 – 25, 2005.
STEFANO PASTOR QUARTET - Transmutations (Slam 512; UK) Featuring Stefano Pastor acoustic violin & percussion, Stefano Calcagno trombone, Piero Leveratto double bass and Maurizio Borgia drums. On 'Transmutations', Pastor's second CD, the ten tracks take material from diverse sources - Mozart to Ornette to Coltrane to Jobim, a show tune and of course the blues - 'transmuted' into excellent jazz vehicles, as well as six originals by the leader. I can't say that I'm familiar with any members of this Italian quartet, but you must admit that the instrumentation is unusual, a violin and trombone in the frontline, with no piano, just double-bass and drums. Ornette's "Bird Food" opens and swings nicely, with spirited solos from the trombone and violin. Mr. Pastor twists the notes/strings on his violin in the same way that Ornette does when he also picks up the violin on rare occasion. Pastor writes quirky songs that move in unexpected ways. With no pianist in sight, their bassist is often the central force here and he is a formidable player, strong solos as well as letting those notes ring or sing the enchanting melodies, stretching out the spirit within. John Coltrane's "Crescent" is done some rather poignant, bluesy passion featuring a long, touching solo from Pastor's violin. While the violin and trombone play the theme to "I Fall in Love Too Easily", the bass solos and centers the tune through its entirety. Piero's bass pumps hard on and swings masterfully on Pastor's "Vucciria", with more spirited solos from the violin and trombone. Mr. Pastor sings Jobim's "Esquecendo Voce" exquisitely as the violin and bass play melancholy harmonies around his soft, sad voice. A quaint conclusion to a modest gem. – BLG