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Joe Lovano/Greg Osby: Friendly Fire (2002)

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The answer to the joke: What would John Coltrane and Charlie Parker be doing if they were alive today, is not, scratching on their respective coffin lids. No, if Bird and Trane were recording today, they would probably sound much like this offering by saxophonists Joe Lovano and Greg Osby. This recording for each comes on the heals of successful solo efforts. Osby last disc, Banned In New York was quasi-bootleg of a live gig and Lovano’s Trio Fascination was an instant classic, with bassist Dave Holland and drummer Elvin Jones. Together, the saxophonists venture into jazz future without stepping on its past. Osby of M-BASE fame can spit notes like a nail gun. Lovano reminds me of smooth silk, in that Coltrane way. Splitting the session between original compositions and tunes by Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy the music is a jam session of the familiar and an exchange of styles between the musicians. Having toured with Woody Herman, Mel Lewis, Paul Motian, John Scofield, and Charlie Haden’s Liberation Orchestra there is no style of jazz that makes Lovano uncomfortable. Osby was the surprise here, his prior outings with Steve Coleman, and his long discography of rap, funk and hip-hop jazz didn’t prepare me for how mature his sound and improvisation has become. This record makes you go back and listen to earlier Osby discs, which were sometimes obscured by non-jazz elements. Put this one in your heavy rotation rack.

Track List:Geo J Lo; The Wild East; Serene; Broadway Blues; Monk’s Mood; Idris; Truth Be Told; Silenos; Alexander The Great.

Personnel: Joe Lovano

Record Label: Blue Note Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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