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Masada Quintet featuring Joe Lovano

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Monday June 29, 2009

John Zorn’s Masada project has blossomed over the past decade and a half, demonstrating durability in the face of multiple interpretations. The composer’s stated intention to create a classic songbook, a consistent body of written work to inspire artists beyond his own performances, has been fruitful. However, most of the variations on these Hassidic-inspired tunes have been made by peers and associates who record for Zorn’s own Tzadik imprint. Stolas: Book of Angels, Volume 12 stands poised to break Zorn’s Masada through to the traditional mainstream, courtesy of tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano.

A highly respected traditionalist, Lovano’s inclusion in this Downtown super-group is something of a coup. Interpreting some of Zorn’s most accessible and sublime compositions, Lovano is joined by a quartet of Masada veterans, including trumpeter Dave Douglas, pianist Uri Caine, bassist Greg Cohen and drummer Joey Baron. No stranger to these environs, Lovano has performed and recorded with Baron and Douglas before, most notably on Flights of Fantasy, Trio Fascination Volume Two (Blue Note, 2001).

Read the entire review in All About Jazz here