(135) Jeff Simon, Buffalo News -- November 2007

Alan Pasqua,  “The Anti-Social Club” (Cryptogramophone). If this sounds like some of the best jazz/rock fusion since its embattled heyday, that’s because keyboardist Alan Pasqua is as hip and pedigreed a producer of it as you’ll find. Back in the day, he played in Tony Williams’ Lifetime and studied with the great jazz composer and theorist George Russell. The latter is no small thing and leads to a tune dedicated to Russell on Pasqua’s new disc on which he makes the Fender Rhodes piano sound good again, as if we were all listening to “In a Silent Way” by Miles Davis. All virtuosity is high-protein, then, not empty. As a West Coast studio musician, Pasqua has played, too, with a list of rock and pop musicians as long as Shaquille O’Neal’s arm, which means he knows a thing or two about hooks and electronic seasonings. It’s a standard saxophone/trumpet/guitar sextet with percussion added and it’s got energy and ideas to burn — which, in fact, it sometimes does. -Jeff Simon

Jeff Simon
Buffalo News
November 2007