Joe Lovano, Ravi Coltrane & Dave Liebman: Jazz Baltica 2007
The Saxophone Summit was originally assembled to celebrate and explore the music of John Coltrane. This appearance from the 2007 Jazz Baltica in Germany features Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman and Ravi Coltrane with Phil Markowitz, Cecil McBee and Billy Hart. There’s a lot of saxophone power on that stage!
The Spring Quartet: Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spalding and Leo Genovese. Just been to to see The Spring Quartet - 4 amazing musicians who collectively were incredible, best gig I’ve been to in ages!
December 26 is guitarist John Scofield’s birthday: he turns 62 this year. John often surrounds himself with formidable talent, and this clip sure proves no exception to that rule. From Baltica in 2002, the “ScoLoHoFo” band: John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Dave Holland and Al Foster. Composition by Dave Holland.
I had almost forgotten about this album, played it a lot when it was released but haven’t heard it for around 10 years, until tonight - well worth checking out!
Combining the talents of tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, guitarist John Scofield, bassist Dave Holland, and drummer Al Foster, there is an uncredited fifth member on jazz super-group Scolohofo’s début recording, Oh! - Miles Davis. Every one of these musicians, except for Lovano, gained their first real success with the legendary trumpeter - an experience that informs their careers to the present. The aesthetic on Oh! is resolutely Milesian - impressionistic, spare, soft, funky, progressive, but always with an ear to the blues. Scolohofoda? His sound is almost literally present, an “implied tone” whenever Scofield’s dissonant chord clusters and Lovano’s whispery throat tones collide. These guys played with Davis in his later fusion period during the ‘70’s and ‘80’s when Davis’ “group” aesthetic came to the fore and became perhaps even more important than his individual contribution. And, while everyone gets their featured solo spot, the overall effect is one of intensely soft and layered patches of sound. Scofield’s trademark “chicken scratch” lines match perfectly with Lovano’s fuzzy spittle tone and the rhythm section of Holland and Foster offers its own wryly propulsive counterpoint. Musically, the goal is resolutely post-bop, but with an acoustic, folky underpinning that allows for some interestingly arranged melodic moments. This contrasts nicely with the free-flowing, loose improvisation informed by ‘60’s free jazz, fusion, and modern progressive styles. Long time fans of the work of these individual musicians will find much to enjoy here, but there is the sense of new or at least rediscovery on Oh! - another Davis trademark - which bodes well for future collaborations - but don’t hold your breath!
Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Joe Lovano’s new album Bird Songs: Bird Songs makes the implicit point that everyone in modern jazz draws on Charlie Parker some kind of way…. Joe Lovano pours it all into his own touching, sweetly melancholy sound. Retooling Parker tunes, he confirms the way to honor an innovator is not by being a copycat, but by finding your own voice.
Much has been written about Ornette Coleman during his lifetime, and more has been written in the aftermath of his death. But this remembrance by John Rogers, with quotes from others, puts a new slant on the spirit and essence of Ornette Coleman.
John Scofield’s new album, this time on Impulse, Past Present, reunites his amazing early ‘90s band with Joe Lovano, Bill Stewart and Larry Grenadier (in place of the late Dennis Irwin). The music is all new, much of it inspired by John’s son Evan, who lost his life to cancer last year. But the album is jubilant and the playing is exceptional. Tom Cole interviews John on NPR’s Weekend Edition.