Joe Lovano Us Five Breaks Mold Of Bird Tribute Albums

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Thursday November 11, 2010

From DownBeat

Joe Lovano Us Five Breaks Mold Of Bird Tribute Albums

Joe Lovano’s band Us Five has recorded a new CD, the saxophonist’s 22nd for the Blue Note label. Bird Songs, an exploration of the Charlie Parker songbook, will be released on Jan. 11, 2011.

Breaking the mold of Parker tribute albums, Bird Songs takes a modern and personal look at one of the most influential artists in jazz history, effectively bringing Bird out of the museum and placing him in the context of a continuum.

‘I wasn’t trying to play like Charlie Parker at all,’ said Lovano. ‘I was playing from his influences, from where he was coming from and from the influences of all these amazing cats who were his disciples. I wanted to focus on his incredible compositions, the themes, the harmonic structures, the forms of his tunes and try to open them up and turn them inside out in a way to create my own melodic and rhythmic variations. I wanted to create my own recording; you can’t tell someone else’s story.’

Eight of the album’s 11 tracks, all songs written by or associated with Parker, feature Lovano on tenor. The other three tunes feature Lovano on straight alto, aulochrome and G mezzo soprano sax. ‘I explore a lot on different horns within the woodwind family, but I wanted to really play this on tenor because that’s who I am,’ he said.

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