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Joe Lovano on PBS NewsHour's Art Beat

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Thursday February 24, 2011

From PBS NewsHour

Conversation: Joe Lovano Takes On Parker
By Jeffrey Brown and Murrey Jacobson

Long considered one of the great saxophonists of his generation, Joe Lovano is well known for his work in the be-bop traditions of jazz and for making it uniquely his own, innovating and improvising on the themes and sounds of Thelonoius Monk, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter and others.

Now, Lovano is taking the music of Charlie Parker and putting his own spin on some of Bird’s compositions, while making sure the original music remains clearly traceable to the great tenor saxophonist. Lovano says Parker had a big influence on his father, who was a tenor saxophonist in Cleveland. The new album, “Bird Songs,” has earned strong reviews for Lovano and his double-drummer quintet, Us Five, which features Grammy-winning bassist Esperanza Spalding.

Jeffrey Brown recently spoke with Lovano from his home in upstate New York about “Bird Songs,” Charlie Parker and why he likes having two drummers in his quintet.

Listen to the interview here