Tuesday May 19, 2009
“It’s fair to say that he’s one of the greatest musicians in jazz history.” – Ben Ratliff, The New York Times
Grammy-winning saxophonist and composer Joe Lovano stands alone at the vanguard of large and small group jazz. From his recent Grammy-nominated work with the WDR Big Band & Rundfunk Orchestra, Symphonica, to his role as Gary Burton Chair of Jazz Performance at Berklee College of Music, the Cleveland native has released 20 celebrated albums on the Blue Note label. With Folk Art, his 21st recording for Blue Note, Joe Lovano debuts Us Five on May 19th 2009.
Us Five (James Weidman on piano; Esperanza Spalding on bass; and Otis Brown III and Francisco Mela on—as Lovano likes to put it—drums and cymbals) is the dynamic new ensemble, and one of the most exciting of Lovano’s acclaimed career, that collectively breathes a youthful exuberance into the first-ever Lovano album to be comprised entirely of his own original compositions. He explores a wide spectrum of “colors, sounds, and feelings,” organizing the flow into passages for quintet, quartets, trios, duos, and solos within the unit, exploiting to the fullest the various rhythm section possibilities afforded by the two-drummer format.