Jazz giant in Irvington

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Wednesday September 21, 2011


Jazz giant in Irvington
By:Linda Lombroso

Forty years into his career as a tenor saxophonist, Joe Lovano says he’s still scratching the surface.

“I’m trying to just develop, tell more of a story of who I am in my compositions and in my playing,’‘ says Lovano, who will perform as guest artist Saturday with the Westchester Jazz Orchestra.

A saxophonist known for his depth of expression ‘” and a composer and soloist busy performing internationally ‘” Lovano, 58, is in fact “mid-career,” says Mike Holober, artistic director and conductor of the WJO, which will play newly commissioned arrangements of Lovano’s works in its season-opening concert.

“He’s one of the most important voices in jazz,’‘ adds Holober. “There are very few players on the scene who really are as important, historically, as young as he is.”

The 16-member not-for-profit Westchester Jazz Orchestra, featuring top jazz musicians ‘” including two who played on Lovano’s Grammy-winning album, “52nd Street Themes” ‘” is launching its ninth season with this weekend’s show. The concert will include tracks from “Maiden Voyage Suite,’‘ the orchestra’s newest album.

“This band is fantastic,’‘ says Lovano, who serves on the group’s advisory board. “They’re some of the hippest players in New York.”

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