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April 2000

Pago Libre
Wake Up Call
Leo Records

Comprised of four extremely talented musicians-pianist John Wolf Brennan, bassist Daniele Patumi, violinist Tscho Theissing and French horn player Arkady Shilkloper-Pago Libre plays music that's close enough for chamber jazz. Theissing and Shilkloper especially have the bearing of first-call symphony musicians, but they are also engaging improvisers, whether the material calls for virtuosic flights or atmospherics. Still, listeners hip to Brennan and Patumi's seamless ensemble work and adventurous improvisations in the similarly-minded Aurealis Trio with flutist Robert Dick will have an immediate comfort level with Pago Libre. Despite the mediocre recording and the sub-par piano, Pago Libre's balance of brio and subtlety is crystal clear on this concert recording.

Originally published in April 2000
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