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Joe Lovano’s most recent release finds the talented saxophonist stretching out in four different trio combinations. Just as Sonny Rollins discovered in his immortal piano-less Village Vanguard performances, a trio allows more freedom than the conventional saxophone settings of a quartet or quintet. The music breathes easily, flirting with both silence and sound. The horns stroll without the harmonic fetters of a traditional rhythm section. This is lovely music.
Highlights of the album include the cerebral interplay between Joe Lovano and Toots Thielemans on "Infant Eyes" and "After Giant Steps." Also memorable, Trio #4 evokes the spirit of late 50s/ early 60s Ornette Coleman. This trio includes the always imaginative Dave Douglas adding some spice to the slightly exotic tracks "Amsterdam" and "206." With this trio line-up the versatile Lovano also plays trap set on "Amber." The trios occasionally veer toward the avant-garde, but their playing always remains intuitive and natural. Overall an outstanding effort and easily recommended to anyone looking for advanced creative jazz played by contemporary artists.
Track Listing: Flights of Fancy; On April (I'll Remember April); Amsterdam; Blue Must; Off and Runnin'; Infant Eyes; 206; Bougainvillea; Windom Street; Hot Shot; Aisha; Amber; On Giant Steps; Flights of Fancy.
Personnel: Joe Lovano: tenor, alto, C-melody, and soprano saxophones; alto and basss clarinet; drums, gongs. Cameron Brown: bass; Idris Muhammad: drums. Toots Thielemans: harmonica; Kenny Werner: piano. Dave Douglas: trumpet; Mark Dresser: bass. Billy Drewes: soprano saxophone, percussion; Joey Baron: drums.