"On his day," declared veteran jazz reviewer Brian Morton in a recent issue of Point of Departure, "Mario Pavone is one of the very best – and when on his game, by far the best – small-group composer/leaders working on the East Coast."
Critics have called him "a smart composer" (Nate Chinen, New York Times) and "a protean bassist" (Paul Blair, Hot House) who "never fails to implant an effective hook" (Bill Shoemaker, DownBeat) and "continues to move the tradition forward with every record" (John Kelman, AllAboutJazz.com).
His music has been described as "exciting and stimulating" (Jay Collins, Cadence), "sensitive and probing" (Owen McNally, Hartford Courant) and "full of smart angular swagger" (Michael Rosenstein, Signal to Noise).
Originally an engineer by trade, Pavone dropped everything to attend John Coltrane’s funeral in 1967, where he decided on the spot to dedicate the rest of his life to music. He has since spent the last four decades defining the cutting edge of jazz, both as a sideman to legendary innovators and the leader of groups featuring some of today’s most respected young improvisers.
His recordings have appeared on best-of-the-year lists in publications such as Slate.com, AllAboutJazz.com, AllAboutJazz-New York, Cadence, the Hartford Courant, JazzTimes and the Village Voice among others.
In addition to his ongoing activities as a bandleader, Pavone's artwork and photography have graced the covers of dozens of recordings since the mid 90's, and he currently serves as an educator, administrator and board member for the Litchfield Jazz Festival and Litchfield Summer Jazz Music Institute in Litchfield, Connecticut.