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Passion, Invention, and Blistering Solos

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Tuesday April 08, 2014

From The Guardian

Spring Quartet review ‘” Passion, Invention and Blistering Solos
By: John Fordham

Three of the recently formed Spring Quartet’s members ‘” drummer Jack DeJohnette, saxophonist Joe Lovano and bassist Esperanza Spalding ‘” are stars (the first two as long-time jazz heroes, Spalding as a Grammy-winning new talent with both a pop and a jazz following), and fourth member Leo Genovese, a fiery young world-jazz piano virtuoso, is close on their heels. But at the Barbican, they played like a group of gifted unknowns with nothing to lose, eschewing famous covers and standards, tersely punching out the themes as if impatient to get down to solo and collective improv.

A Lovano ballad deployed his exquisite mix of old-school breathiness and John Coltrane’s edge, but DeJohnette’s closing Ahmad the Terrible was the standout, a strutting tattoo-like piece with a folksy, jigging release that drew blistering solos from all four. There was no encore, but plenty of fresh music had filled the Spring Quartet’s 90 crowded minutes on the stage.

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