Tag Archives: joe lovano


He And His Outfit Are Connected Enough To Make Each Of Their Gambits Feel Genuinely Momentous

He And His Outfit Are Connected Enough To Make Each Of Their Gambits Feel Genuinely Momentous

10 Best Things About Day One of the Newport Jazz Festival

1. Dave Douglas’s soloing posture

2. Jason Moran’s left hand

3. Rudresh Mahanthappa’s frakking of selected notes during solo with Team DeJohnette

5. Joe Lovano’s arm gestures when explaining something to a pal

6. Dave King’s laff

7. Jack DeJohnette’s foot on the kick drum

8. Unison swoop of Dafnis Prieto’s front line

9. Paul Motian floating above the stage during TBP+BF’s “It Should’ve Happened A Long Time Ago”

10. The standing ovation that the above performance earned from its packed audience. 

+ 1 extra since it was such a swell day: 

11. James Carter’s outfit



Lovano/Douglas 5tet in Action

Psyched for their Newport hit.

De Drums Are Silenced: RIP The Owl of Cranston

So Long to a fellow Rhode Islander. Kelvin chatted with Paul Motian for this piece.  Steve Futterman recalls Motian’s impact here.

25 Jazz Albums That Just Might Make It To The “End of the Year” Lists – 2011 Edition

Every summer, around June 1 because that the anum’s half-way point, I’ve been taking the temperature vis a vis the records that will make the end-of-the-year lists. Which titles are vying for inclusion? Which are the definite front-runners? It’s an old link-baiting strat. We all love our horse races and we all love our listicles. Okay, so we’re a couple weeks late this month. Blame the busy June Jazz rush (which ain’t over yet).  Here are 25 discs that keep buzzing around my head. Wonder which will make the cut? Any you’d like to weigh in on? Sure there are…

Gerald Cleaver’s Uncle June,  Be It As I See It (Fresh Sound)

Walter/Halvorson/Evans, Electric Fruit (Thirsty Ear)

Brad Mehldau, Live In Marciac (Nonesuch)

Noah Preminger, Before the Rain (Palmetto)

Orrin Evans, Captain Black Big Band (Posi-Tone)

Kermit Driscoll, Reveille (19/8)

Jeff “Tain” Watts, Family (Dark Keys)

Fred Hersch, Alone At the Vanguard (Palmetto)

Muhal Richard Abrams, Sound Dance (Pi)

Eric Harland, Voyager (Space Time)

JD Allen Trio, Victory! (Sunnyside)

Tim Berne, Insomnia (Clean Feed)

Colin Stetson, New History Warfare II (Constellation)

Russ Lossing Trio, Oracle (HatOLOGY)

Mostly Other People Do The Killing, The Coimbra Concert (Clean Feed)

Craig Taborn, Avenging Angel (ECM)

Ben Allison, Action-Refraction (Palmetto)

Orchestre National de Jazz, Shut Up And Dance (Bee Jazz)

Jeremy Udden’s Plainville, If The Past Looks So Bright (Sunnyside)

BB&C, The Veil (Cryptogramophone)

Joe Lovano, Bird Songs (Blue Note)

Bruce Barth Trio, Live At Smalls (Smalls Live)

Konitz/Mehldau/Haden/Motion, Live at Birdland (ECM)

Black/Dunn/Noriega/Speed, Endangered Blood (Skirl)

Ambrose Akinmusire, When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Blue Note)

Steve Coleman & Five Elements, The Mancy of Sound (Pi)

Harris Eisenstadt, Canada Day II (Clean Feed)

Farmers By Nature, Out of This World’s Distortions (AUM Fidelity)

A visit to the comments section of A Blog Supreme’s mid-year litmus test reminded me that Joe Fiedler’s Sacred Chrome Orb (Yellow Sound) should be on the list above as well.


Lovano On Coleman 

“If I hadn’t checked out Ornette, I wouldn’t have been ready to play with Paul Motian. You have to have an open mind to create form within the music rather than repeat a structure. Ornette opened the door to create the form, the orchestration, as you played.” – late 80s, Fort Greene

Harmolodic Hat-Tip

Seems like Ornette is in the air a lot these days. Musicians like Gregg August and J.D. Allen talking about the informal sessions the maestro has been having at his home, the arrival of the icon at the Sonny Rollins birthday show (“I was full of joy when he came out,” Newk told me the other day, “any time I hear him it’s a good experience”) and plenty of young cats like Noah Preminger turning to tunes such as “Law Years” and “Street Woman” (the young tenor player Facebook’d the message “Ornette’s Science Fiction should be the new bible. End of story.” on Friday).

To my mind, that’s how it should be. Investigations of OC’s canon are always welcome. For the last two nights, Jimmy Katz has curated a tip of the hat to Ornette at the Jazz Gallery. Tonight’s show is the last of of the presentation, with Nasheet Waits (with pianist Stanley Cowell, y’all) and Joe Lovano‘s Super Sonix group (Cameron Brown and Joey Baron) taking it home. I’ll throw $5 in the tip jar if JoeLo dives into “European Echoes,” one of my fave OC trio nuggets. And I’ll thank everyone in advance, especially Katz, for the fun.

A Little Less Grace In The World

It’s all about touch. As Hank Jones’ recent work with Joe Lovano proved, he can hush a room with the way he phrases a chord or positions a note. I’m remembering an “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” at Dizzy’s that confirmed his harmonic prowess was in sync with his cinematic proclivities. You could almost see the sunrise. So long to a master. Listen to him talk about the seriousness of bebop below. Check the work. Here’s Ben Ratliff exchanging ideas about music with the pianist. Here are Jones and Bill Charlap bouncing through tunes on NPR. Here’s Hank chatting with Gary Giddins. Jazz isn’t “a weekend kind of thing…” Here he talks about striving for perfection. Howard Mandel interviews Hank. Joe Lovano interviews Hank.

Joe Lovano Talks Village Vanguard Anniversary

You’ve seen the pieces that are starting to pile up about the Vanguard’s 75th anniversary. Team Gordon has been doing a strong job of keeping their little slice of jazz heaven alive and well. From Leadbelly to The Bad Plus, the stage has held a wealth of artists during the last several decades. Next week’s celebration finds Joe Lovano’s Us Five outfit on the case. The mighty saxophonist isn’t taking this gig lightly. He’s been a part of the Vanguard’s extended family for quite a while, performing with a multitude of outfits. There was a spark in his voice when he spoke about his memories of the place and his plans for the upcoming shows.

“75 years…it’s pretty amazing – business wise as well as art wise. These days we play in so many places and never meet the club owner. You might meet the managers and other people. But actually working with the owner? That’s rare. I came up with that kind of thing with my dad and the guys in Cleveland.  Playing for Lorraine and working there when Max was around is beautiful. The club itself has a warm feeling. When you play on a stage that you know Thelonious played on, and Max Roach, and Elvin Jones, Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson,  all the cats – it’s amazing. I’ve had a chance to be in the audience and hear some of them and then to play there and have some of my heroes be in my audience – incredible.

As far as development goes… well, moving to NYC in the mid ’70s, joining the Mel Lewis band in the 1980 and being a part of that group every Monday night until ’91 or so. Playing there as a leader and within other groups. I sat in with Bill Evans there, just before he passed. Sat in with Elvin, too. Through the years, there were a bunch of different situations that arose – seems I was there a lot.  Playing the Vanguard teaches you, and humbles you; it made me go in the woodshed everytime – with a different inspiration.

Hearing Dexter Gordon might’ve been one of the first times I went into the club. It was right when I moved to New York. That’s one of the memorable first moments at the Vanguard. And also when Joe Henderson recorded The State of the Tenor. That same week I recorded my first session as a leader at the Jazz Coalition Center. It was for Soul Note: Tones Shapes and Colors. It might’ve been a Thursday night, if I remember right. Anyway, I was going to hear Joe Hen on all the other nights, and knowing I was going to make my first date that week got me excited. I was so happy to do a live record for my first record; that was important for me. It was like, “This is what’s happening, this is how I play.” In was recorded in real time, and the set was literally the record. That’s the way I orchestrated it. And to know that Joe was also recording? Really inspiring.

Lorraine loves making requests. Ha! She has favorite tunes and she loves the feeling of the music, and when you play things that touch her, she remembers it. She wants that feeling again and again and again. That’s the beauty of this music – how you can touch people.

We’re going to have some fun down there next week. We’ve got a lot of new music. And I’m going to touch on some things that reflect the Village Vanguard for me. Some compositions by some cats that were played down there. It’s the third years we’ve played with the band down there, and I’m really excited about this particular formation of Us Five.”

Ed Thigpen Farewell: The Drum Conversationalist Is Gone

Lots of poetry in ET’s work. Just hearing his brushes touch the snare is a kick, and of course his grace with OP and RB is super sweet. Don’t forget how beautiful he was somewhat recently with JL. Here’s a nice overview.