Lovano’s Us Five Strikes Gold at Mint

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Friday March 15, 2013


Lovano’s Us Five Strikes Gold at Mint
By: Sean J. O’Connell

On Jan. 22, saxophonist Joe Lovano brought Us Five to the Mint in Los Angeles. The quintet-including pianist James Weidman, bassist Esperanza Spalding and drummers Otis Brown III and Francisco Mela-played for nearly two hours and matched the giddy enthusiasm of the standing-room-only audience of 200.

Lovano was a towering presence throughout the night. The spotlight reflected off his large silver medallion as he wordlessly gazed above the crowd. He opened with a brief solo intro before the band jumped in on ‘Us Five,’ a track from the group’s 2009 Folk Art album. From there, each band member took turns introducing themselves with a fast-paced solo.

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