Joe Lovano's Us Five bring energy to burn

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Thursday February 02, 2012


Joe Lovano’s Us Five bring energy to burn
By: J.D. Considine

Jazz saxophonist Joe Lovano brought his hot young quintet Us Five to Toronto Tuesday, in a makeup gig for an October show that had to be postponed after a freak blizzard grounded the band in New York.

Here are five things you should know about those Five:

Why Lovano is first among five

That Us Five is Joe Lovano’s band was obvious from the first notes. It wasn’t just that his tenor led the band into the opening tune, Us Five; Lovano both set the pace and directed the flow of the band, shaping the music even when he wasn’t playing.

In his grey Mao suit and black porkpie hat, Lovano was clearly the dominant figure onstage, and the fact that he played with such fire only underscored his authority. But he also has the great bandleader’s gift of being able to make each of his players shine brightly, and shine together, and that’s key to the band’s chemistry.

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