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Joe Lovano Us Five: Kennett Square, PA, January 19, 2013

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Joe Lovano Us FiveLongwood GardensKennett Square, PAJanuary 19, 2013Renowned saxophonist Joe Lovano brought his esteemed Us Five ensemble to Kennett Square's bucolic Longwood Gardens on a crisp January evening, touring in support of Cross Culture, his 23rd release for Blue Note Records. Performing in the Conservatory's intimate ballroom, the unconventional lineup entertained a sold-out audience in an elegant prewar setting that provided an ideal backdrop for Lovano's timeless artistry.The capacity crowd was no doubt due in part to the presence of recent Grammy winner Esperanza Spaulding, Us Five's original bassist, whose newfound celebrity ...

INTERVIEWS

Joe Lovano: Inimitable Streams of Expression

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Penned as “one of the greatest musicians in jazz history," saxophonist Joe Lovano has successfully created a unique voice within the jazz tradition and has contributed significantly to the continuance and development of the idiom.In just over a quarter of a century he has created an expansive body of work that has covered a broad spectrum of styles. This includes swing, bebop, hard-bop, post-bop, the avant-garde and interpretations of the music of Frank Sinatra and Enrico Caruso. He has explored an array of group settings, including duo with drums, the coveted trio with drums and bass, numerous quartets, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Lovano: Joe Lovano - Bird Songs

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Joe Lovano's Us Five debut, Folk Art (Blue Note, 2009), was a triumphantly energetic outing, filled with the sound of two drummers and running through a program of Lovano's originals. It was a highly personal and emphatic debut, and a great one too, but Bird Songs is important in completing the portrait of this ensemble. Bird Songs confirms what was previously just a suspicion--that this ensemble has a wide range of expression that can be applied to many different settings. The live shows that followed Folk Art sometimes sounded exactly like the record, at least in mood ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Lovano / Us Five: Bird Songs

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An inquisitive musician with a reverence for tradition, Grammy-winning saxophonist Joe Lovano has recorded a number of unique tributes to artists who have inspired him, including Enrico Caruso and Frank Sinatra. But none of his previous homages, not even 52nd Street Themes (Blue Note, 2000), his love letter to the bebop era, are as relevant to his artistic development as Bird Songs, Lovano's modernistic reinterpretation of tunes written by and associated with the great Charlie Parker.Reevaluating these revered compositions from a contemporary perspective, Lovano rearranges Parker's innovative melodic, harmonic and rhythmic fundamentals into unique new configurations for his ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Lovano / Us Five: Bird Songs

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Sax giant Joe Lovano has blown next to a bevy of jazz greats, and been applauded as soloist and leader throughout his nearly 40-year career. While it might seem surprising that audiences had to wait until his 22nd album for a tribute to Charlie Parker, Bird Songs demonstrates, once again, that Lovano does things his own way, and that great things are worth waiting for. Lovano and his Us Five band cover tunes that “Bird" penned and played, forever changing the shape of jazz. Many of these tunes started as improvisations, evolving into test pieces or shredding ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Joe Lovano with Family and Friends: Cleveland Heights, December 28, 2010

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Joe LovanoNighttownCleveland Heights, OhioDecember 28, 2010 Late into the third set of his homecoming gig with family and friends at Nighttown, saxophonist Joe Lovano took to the mike to remind all in attendance that “Cleveland has always had a creative music scene goin' on." It felt part pep talk, part classic eureka moment of the chronically pessimistic Clevelander, sprung this night from the combustive heat of a wonderfully overstuffed room: “Wait, wow, this is our city?" That such sentiment passed through the lips of Lovano, one of the recognized kings of the jazz ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Lovano: Folk Art

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Some jazz artists enter a period in their careers where they've said all they have to say yet carry on, eking out a living, resting on laurels and simply playing out the string. Not saxophonist Joe Lovano. Folk Art is his 22nd recording for Blue Note alone, a run that has been marked by artistic consistency and tasteful excellence. This collection, however, is arguably the freshest and richest inside/out session he's delivered in his admirable career, certainly since Trio Fascination (with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones) over a decade ago. One way (relatively) elder statesmen keep things ...



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