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Lovano’s Us Five Strikes Gold at Mint

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Friday March 15, 2013

from downbeat.com

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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