Something New for Carmel Bach Festival - A Jazz Saxophonist, Joe Lovano

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Monday July 25, 2011

From the San Jose Mercury News

Something new for Carmel Bach Festival — a jazz saxophonist, Joe Lovano
By Richard Scheinin

CARMEL — In its 74th season, the Carmel Bach Festival has a new music director and conductor, Paul Goodwin, an Englishman who enjoys juxtaposing the tried-and-true and the new. In the midst of Friday’s concert at the Sunset Center Theater, he juxtaposed big-time: Out of the wings walked burly Joe Lovano, the great jazz tenor saxophonist, filling the theater with his foggy-bottom sound.

This was a Bach festival? Well, it’s been a while since Carmel Bach was strictly about Bach, but this was experimentation of a different order. Bring it on: It’s the job of a new music director to put a thumbprint on proceedings, which Goodwin is doing. Replacing Bruno Weil, who led the festival for 19 years, he has much work ahead: Friday’s performance by the Festival Orchestra was more expressive than elegant. Still, changes are afoot at Carmel Bach, which runs through July 30.

In this program, Goodwin links Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 3, “Pastoral” — a work of tranquillity and sadness, incubated at the end of World War I — with “A Man Descending,” a shadowy piece by contemporary British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage. A response to Vaughan Williams’ beloved “A Lark Ascending,” it’s a sort of tone poem for orchestra and tenor saxophone soloist, namely Lovano, who premiered it with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in 2004.

Read the entire review here