Monday May 09, 2011
KPLU Studio Sessions
Joe Lovano Us Five – Taking Bird to new heights
By Justin Steyer, Abe Beeson and Nick Francis
Live sessions in the KPLU Performance Studio are always fun. However, when saxophonist, Joe Lovano, stopped by with his group, Us Five, it was more than fun. It was also an honor.
New York Times jazz critic, Ben Ratliff, put it very succinctly: “It’s fair to say that (Lovano’s) one of the greatest musicians in jazz history.”
Usually in our studio sessions we begin with a song from the visiting artist, chat for a moment, hear another song, chat again, hear another song and that’s that. Joe, though, wanted to go about it a bit differently….a few introductory remarks and then an uninterrupted four-song mini-set of Charlie Parker compositions (reflecting the content of his current tour and his latest CD, Bird Songs), so that’s the way we rolled.