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REVIEW 'Bird Songs' LA Times

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Wednesday January 12, 2011

From the LA Times

Album review: Joe Lovano Us Five’s ‘Bird Songs’
By Chris Barton

Given its occasional tendency to revel in its rich past, you could argue that jazz needs another album dedicated to one of its titans about as much as it needs another 19-hour documentary series. But leave it to restless tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano to take the idea of a tribute record and turn it on its head with this collection dedicated to Charlie Parker.

Leading the same quintet from his fiery 2009 album “Folk Art” that includes Grammy nominee Esperanza Spalding on bass and a nimble percussion duo of Otis Brown III and Francisco Mela, Lovano digs for new twists in Parker’s compositions like the flesh-and-blood creatures they are rather than replicating what’s already been heard. The slow-burning “Loverman” gets a new light cast into its deep shadows with Lovano on soprano saxophone, while “Barbados” enjoys a buoyant, tropical feel with a clattering metallic percussion dialogue.

Read the entire review here