Fri., Mar. 3, 1978 Los Angeles Times
Senatore: His Own Kind of Ambience
by Leonard Feather
Times Staff Writer
A good ambience cannot make mediocre music listenable, but the right atmosphere can turn a modestly agreeable, swinging performance into a total delight. That is the lesson to be learned from a visit to Pasquale’s, the Southland’s newest and by all odds most inviting jazz night spot.
Pasquale (Pat) Senatore, who played bass with the Tijuana Brass, is the brains behind the club. He took over a a room at 22724 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu and converted it into a comfortable setting for concerts not just by the sea, but almost literally on the sea.
Windowed along two of its walls, Pasquale’s offers music by Senatore’s trio, along with an opportunity to walk through a sliding glass door not 20 feet from the bandstand onto a deck from which you may watch the Pacific Ocean lapping at your feet a short distance below.
During his first few weeks, Senatore had such men as pianist George Cables, drummers Roy McCurdy and Tootie Heath. There are also Sunday matinees at 4 p.m. with such guest soloists as saxophonist Ray Pizzi.
The current incumbents, who play every night except Monday, are a driving, spirited mainstream-modern pianist named Frank Collett, and the outstanding drummer Billy Higgins, whose credits include work with Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins and Herbie Hancock. Senatore plays upright bass.
The nature of the music they make is indicated by the tunes they choose to perform: “Alone Together,” “All Blues,” Cole Porter’s “I Love You.,” a relaxed “If I Had You” and an arrow-swift examination of Rollins’ “Oleo.”
All three members acquit themselves creditably both as soloists and as part of an obvious compatible team. The room, by the way, has been provided with a good, in-tune piano.
Senatore plans to expand soon and double his present capacity of 100 plus. If he doesn’t knock down some walls before summer, the public may well be doing it for him in the rush to get in. Pasquale’s offers one of those rare jazz settings that speak eloquently for itself at first sight as well as first sound.