180

Joe Lovano: Streams of Expression

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Joe Lovano: Streams of Expression
British woodwind player Tim Garland has praised Joe Lovano for "the way he looks forward and backwards on the horn simultaneously, covering the whole tradition, yet looking way, way forward at the same time. Nowhere is this more evident than on Streams of Expression, where the woodwind multi-instrumentalist teams up with Third Stream progenitor Gunther Schuller on record for the first time since Rush Hour (Blue Note, 1994). The result is an intrepid album that manages to take a variety of musical influences and join them in a celebration of coexistent form and freedom.

Lovano's five-part Streams of Expression suite is most remarkable for the way it works with what could be confining complexity, but ultimately provides the eleven-piece ensemble surprising room for individual movement. The composer describes the interaction as "creating music within the orchestration, shaping new arrangements as we go along.

"Fire Prophets (Pt. V) is the best example of this. It begins as a high-energy trio featuring the late pianist John Hicks, bassist Dennis Irwin and drummer Lewis Nash. While Hicks has most often been pigeonholed as a mainstream/post bop player, he was equally capable of Cecil Taylor-like streams of abandon. Horn section shots—clearly scripted but feeling like organized chaos—lead the ensemble into a solo by Lovano on a new instrument called the Aulochrome, which looks like two soprano saxophones stuck together. The late Rahsaan Roland Kirk may have provided inspiration, but the Aulochrome affords a degree of polyphony that has never before possible, even when playing two horns simultaneously. Lovano puts it to creative use here and on the closing trio piece, the swinging "Big Ben.

Elsewhere the Streams of Expression suite ranges from the relaxed and aptly titled "Cool (Pt. II) to the spacious freedom of "Enchantment (Pt. III). "Second Nature (Pt. IV) revolves around a comfortable tempo and, with everyone soloing either alone or in collective subsets, it reveals Lovano's democratic view of the ensemble. His voice is never less than identifiable, but Streams of Expression is a collective effort.

Lovano splits his suite up, bookending three pieces, most notably the Schuller-arranged and conducted Birth of the Cool suite and trumpeter Tim Hagans' "Buckeyes, both featuring pianist James Weidman in place of Hicks. Schuller's suite takes three pieces from the classic Miles Davis/Gil Evans collaboration, surrounding them with and separating them by newly written pieces that integrate the original compositions in abstract and impressionistic ways that could not have been imagined when Birth of the Cool was conceived nearly sixty years ago.

Perhaps more than any record in Lovano's growing discography, Streams of Expression draws a clear line between the past, present and—with its unique blending of rich orchestration, complex scores and in-the-moment arranging—a possible future.

Track Listing

Streams of Expression: Streams (Pt. I); Cool (Pt. II). The Birth of the Cool Suite: Prelude/Moon Dreams; Interlude No.1/Move/Interlude No.2; Boplicity/Postlude. Blue Sketches; Buckeyes; Streams of Expression: Enchantment (Pt. III); Second Nature (Pt. IV); Fire Prophet (Pt. V). Big Ben.

Personnel

Joe Lovano: tenor saxophone, alto clarinet, Aulochrome; Tim Hagans: trumpet (1-5,7-10); Barry Ries: trumpet (1-5,7-10); Larry Farrell: trombone (1-5,7-10); Steve Slagle: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute (1-5,7-10); George Garzone: tenor saxophone (1,2,8-10); Ralph Lalama: tenor saxophone and clarinet (3-5); Charles Russo: clarinet, bass clarinet (3-5); Michael Parloff: flute (3-5); James Weidman: piano (3-5,7); Gary Smulyan: baritone saxophone (1-5,7-10); John Hicks: piano (1,2,8-10); Dennis Irwin: bass; Lewis Nash: drums; Gunther Schuller: arranger/conductor (3-5).

Album information

Title: Streams of Expression | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Freedom Fables
Freedom Fables
Nubiyan Twist
Read Auge
Auge
Aki Takase / Christian Weber / Michael Griener
Read Son Of Nyx
Son Of Nyx
Tamil Rogeon
Read Solo/Duo
Solo/Duo
Eli Wallace/Beth McDonald
Read Solo
Solo
Daniel Rotem
Read Immigrance
Immigrance
Snarky Puppy

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.