Joe Lovano: Trio Fascination
Dave Holland works as a melodic counterpart to Lovano's saxophone lead. The bassist, who turned 52 last month, began his professional career in his native England before linking up with Miles Davis and later garnering associations with leading members of the modern jazz idiom, including Jack DeJohnette, Herbie Hancock, Sam Rivers, and Chick Corea. Elvin Jones accompanies with a light touch and subtle shadings; however, his periodic emphatic statements add a vital force needed for the balance this trio has attained. Jones, who turned 71 in September, is the younger brother of pianist Hank Jones and trumpeter Thad Jones. His name recognition stemming from his role in the John Coltrane quartet of the early 1960s, Jones has spent much of his career teaching and helping younger musicians to find their own voices in jazz.
Joe Lovano chooses to present his familiar tenor saxophone sound on most tracks; the soprano saxophone is employed on "Eternal Joy," the alto sax on "Studio Rivbea" & "4 on the Floor," and the alto clarinet on "Impressionistic." Victor Young's "I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You" is presented in standard form with brushes and strolling bass in support. It's all about the melody, as Lovano offers his heartfelt interpretation of Ned Washington's lyrics. With the leader choosing alto clarinet and Holland using the bow, the trio performs "Impressionistic" with an ear on the melody and a hand on the arrhythmic pulse. Jones provides a feature, using every facet of the drum set to create various textures while Lovano and Holland pair off with doubled melodic lines. Switching to alto sax at mid-stream, Lovano continues to deliver the session's highlight with a superb presentation from all three artists. For the most part, the album contains music from a jazz trio that is steeped in the hard bop tradition, willing & free to unleash creative feelings, and in agreement as to what constitutes the modern mainstream in jazz. Highly recommended.
Track Listing: New York Fascination; Sanctuary Park; Eternal Joy; Ghost of a Chance; Studio Rivbea; Cymbalism; Impressionistic; Villa Paradiso; 4 on the Floor; Days of Yore.
Personnel: Joe Lovano- tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, straight alto saxophone, alto clarinet; Dave Holland- acoustic bass; Elvin Jones- drums.
Record Label: Blue Note Records