On this focused and passionate record, Alan Pasqua is joined by bassist Dave Holland and drummer Paul Motian – two players with stellar reputations who don't appear together often. Motian's post-'70s playing tends to be free and fragmented, but he approaches Pasqua's material with a straight-ahead sense of swing. The leader, for his part, became known as a synth player following his work with the Tony Williams Lifetime in the late '70s, but here his playing and writing are closer to acoustic post-boppers like Mulgrew Miller and Kenny Barron.
When drummer Tony Williams died of a heart attack on February 23, 1997, at the relatively young age of 51, it was a tremendous loss for straight-ahead post-bop and hard bop as well as for fusion. Williams had numerous acoustic jazz credentials (including his contributions to Miles Davis' legendary mid-‘60s quintet), and his band Lifetime was one of the most important fusion outfits of the ‘70s. The late drummer's fusion side is what electric guitarist Allan Holdsworth, electric bassist Jimmy Haslip (of Yellowjackets fame), keyboardist Alan Pasqua, and drummer Chad Wackerman pay tribute to on Blues for Tony, an excellent two-CD set that was recorded live in 2007…
In 2007 Allan Holdsworth & Alan Pasqua toured extensively with Chad Wackerman and Jimmy Haslip. This DVD captures their concert at Yoshi’s in the Bay area. This a tour-d-force line up. Holdsworth on guitar and Pasqua on keyboards are the main creative writing force, while Wackerman adds his unique touch on the drums, and Haslip is on the bass guitar. Up beat Jazz is the way I would describe it. This DVD has a running time of 90 minutes and is just delightful. It is not often that you get four of the worlds finest musicians to corroborate on a project.
West Coast-based pianist Alan Pasqua makes his debut in fine acoustic jazz fashion, backed by a big-name rhythm section: Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette. Michael Brecker contributes smoking tenor on "Rio Grande," "The Law of Diminishing Returns," and "L'Inverno." On "Acoma," "A Sleeping Child," "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen," and Cole Porter's "All Of You," Pasqua swings effortlessly in a subtle trio idiom.
This is a superb and delicious work played as masterful as delicately by a totally acoustic trio. Besides the extraordinary perform of the trio, it is very notable the beautiful interpretation of the perfectly balanced and controlled pianist Allan Pasqua, whose compositions, besides, are really beautiful and stupendous too. Simply, a master work of the contemporary jazz.