Standout Track: No. 1, “7524,” a long and unusually shaped tune painted over with the phrasing and cheerfully breakneck swing of bebop’s post-war prime. Joe Herrera’s pungent trumpet tone is the attention-getter, and Rodney Richardson’s guitar is the sweetest sound, but Pace’s upright bass—prodding, yet somehow as smooth as the instrument’s finished wood—is the most solid and unrelenting.
Musical Motivation: The title refers to Pace’s former address in College Park, where he lived with several other local musicians, including pianist Alex Shubert and guitarist Mike Kramer. “There was a large amount of bebop being played there,” he says. “Tons of Charlie Parker, Barry Harris, Bud Powell. It seeped into that song; I don’t have the authentic bebop vocabulary, but it’s definitely bebop-inspired.”
Meet the Beatless: Before the current incarnation of the trio, Pace had always used drums in his bands; he also frequently works with drummer Andrew Hare. But scaling back his own ensemble was a way of challenging himself. “I have to play differently without a drummer,” he says. “I have to play fills where the drummer would ordinarily fill, and have to keep my own time with constant patterns. It’s changed my writing, too, since I have to play what I write without drumbeat support.” For the next project, he says, “I’ll call Andrew.”