Sunday January 06, 2013
Joe Lovano and Us Five – Cross Culture (2013)
By: Nick DeRiso
I expected Joe Lovano, after an association dating back to 1981, to offer tribute to Paul Motian — the legend who died just two months before the saxist began Cross Culture. Instead, Lovano begins with a sun-drenched burst of joy.
“Blessings in May” swings with a floorboard-rearranging verve, as Lovano switches from tenor to G-mezzo horns alongside pianist James Weidman, bassists Peter Slavov and Esperanza Spalding and drummers Francisco Mela (on the left) and Otis Brown III (on the right). Their tornadic polyrhythms — ever moving, ever surprising, yet also ever in tandem — give the song this layered sense of blissful exaltation.
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