COMPOSERS: Joe Lovano
LABELS: Blue Note
PERFORMER: Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman (ts), Mulgrew Miller (p), Christian McBride (b), Lewis Nash (d), Don Alias (perc)
CATALOGUE NO: CDP 827 014-2
Having established his reputation in the late Seventies and Eighties with such leaders as Woody Herman, Paul Motian and John Scofield, tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano is now indisputably one of jazz’s most technically proficient and inventive players, a lynchpin of Blue Note’s renaissance. He has achieved this stature courtesy of his thorough absorption of the whole saxophone tradition, from Hawkins and Webster through Coltrane and even Ornette Coleman, so that a typical Lovano solo will combine the massive, easy swing of the big-band era with the harmonic and rhythmic adventurousness of later decades.
His cogent contributions here inevitably overshadow those of Dewey Redman’s son Joshua; where the older man is all cultured maturity, never at a loss for a telling improvisational felicity, Redman often sounds like the extremely promising apprentice – possessed of a pleasantly foggy tone and a refreshingly relaxed approach – that he is. Nevertheless, thanks to a stellar rhythm section and some stunning soloing from Lovano – his duet with Mulgrew Miller on ‘Laura’ is one unforgettable highlight – this is a highly enjoyable album. Chris Parker