Friday October 21, 2011
A bridge between jazz’s past and future
Grammy-winning tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano followed in his father’s footsteps.
By: Joe Stumpe
It says something about tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano’s stature in the jazz world that his bassist is a young woman named Esperanza Spalding.
Spalding won this year’s Grammy for Best New Artist – beating out pop sensation Justin Bieber, among others – and has played with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Prince. But when it comes to her semi-regular gig, Spalding chooses to back up the 58-year-old Lovano. She says Lovano’s mastery of his instrument makes him the “free-est” musician she’s ever played with.
Lovano, for his part, begrudges Spalding none of her early success.
“It’s really great to see her emerge like that,” Lovano said in an interview from Boston, where he teaches at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. “I’m really proud of her because she’s got her head on straight.”
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