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Saxophonist Joe Lovano Boldly Upholds Charlie Parker’s legacy

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Monday April 04, 2011

From the Kansas City Star

Saxophonist Joe Lovano boldly upholds Charlie Parker’s legacy
By Bill Brownlee

Every serious jazz musician must eventually address his or her relationship with the groundbreaking music of Charlie “Bird” Parker. Few have done so with the imagination and authority Joe Lovano displayed during a bruising performance Saturday at the Folly Theater. Half of the concert was dedicated to selections from “Bird Songs,” the saxophonist’s startlingly innovative new album of music associated with Parker.

The daunting legacy of Parker, born in Kansas City, Kan., in 1920, continues to inspire and intimidate. Even masterful musicians often sound awestruck as they pay homage to the icon. Not Lovano. Fully versed in jazz tradition, Lovano, 58, has long demonstrated a willingness to push jazz in fertile new directions. He explained his approach during a discussion prior to the concert.

“I’m influenced not only by the brilliance of Charlie Parker but by the brilliance of his disciples,” Lovano suggested.

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