Catch Up with Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas

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Monday April 02, 2018


Catch Up with Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas, Sharel Cassity, the Fred Hersch Trio and More
By: Nate Chinen

Take Five has several premieres this week, from artists smartly pushing forward.

Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas Sound Prints, ‘Ups and Downs’

For all of the just credit that Dave Douglas typically receives ‘” as an incisive trumpeter, a dauntless bandleader, a tireless organizer, a fount of endless ideas ‘” he just might be undervalued as a melodist. There’s ample evidence of this quality across his body of work, and not just in the folk-improv chamber quartet Charms of the Night Sky. (But yes, that’s where I’d point you first.) Douglas has recently devoted a lot of energy to Sound Prints, which he jointly leads with the ever-soulful tenor and soprano saxophonist Joe Lovano. This band originally formed as a living tribute to the music of Wayne Shorter, whose mysterious but accessible signature as a composer means a lot to everyone involved.

‘Ups and Downs,’ which has its premiere here, is an especially lyrical Douglas tune from the excellent new Sound Prints album, Scandal. (The album features five compositions by Douglas and four by Lovano, along with a pair of redrawn Shorter classics, ‘Juju’ and ‘Fee Fi Fo Fum.’) A floating ballad set in motion by a drift of arpeggios, it brings out the tender balladeer in Lovano, and the intrepid gallant in Douglas. All the while, the rhythm section ‘” Joey Baron on drums, Linda May Han Oh on bass and Lawrence Fields, who also crafts a fine solo, on piano ‘” creates the undulating current that makes the track’s title feel descriptively apt.

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