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Alon Marcus

Joe Lovano - General discussion

88 posts in this topic

Probably one of the most influential and interesting tenors of our time. Always enjoy listening to his sophisticated and well crafted solo work. Can't agree with the common opinion that he sounds like Rollins. To me he is somewhere between Stan Getz (phrasing) and Ben Webster (sound) adding more contemporary tones.

Here is a short list of favorite Lovano for me

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Celebrating Sinatra is an interesting record because of its diversity. The orchestrations by Manny Albam are very unusual and the small group cuts always have some zest inside. I love the duet with Foster on Chicago.

Here is a nice review on it in Amazon

Two all star projects that work nicely are his quartet with Scofield, Foster and Holland (one of my favorite albums) and the saxophone summit with Liebman and Brecker.

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OH!

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Gathering of Spirits

Next on my listening list with Lovano is the lovely Dameron project 52nd Street Themes and Rush Hour .

I'll be glad to here your opinions about him and to see some reviews and recommendations.

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I agree with you that Lovano is a great musician. In 1995 I had the pleasure to see him at the VV. I like many of his recordings but in my humble opinion, These are his best:

Trio Fascination - Edition One

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Flights of Fancy: Trio Fascination, Vol. 2

joe_lovano_flightsoffancy.jpg

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Sorry to be negative, (and I'll stop with this comment) but I find Lovano to be pretty boring in the last few years. Maybe boring ie the wrong word and a little harsh, but he really hasn't shown me any soul and excitement in the last 5 years or so.

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Probably one of the most influential and interesting tenors of our time.

i enjoy lovano's work very much, but i'm not sure if i totally agree with this statement. can you name some musicians who you feel bear the mark of lovano's influence?

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Probably one of the most influential and interesting tenors of our time.

i enjoy lovano's work very much, but i'm not sure if i totally agree with this statement. can you name some musicians who you feel bear the mark of lovano's influence?

No! :g

But I think the consistency and quality of his projects talk for themselves.

Edited by Alon Marcus

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I find Lovano to be uneven but I do enjoy much of his work. The initial note in this thread mentions that the "common opinion" is that he sounds like Rollins. I've never heard anyone say that, nor seen such an assertion in print, and of course, IMO, he does not at all evoke the Rollins of any period from the '50s through the current time.

In any event, these are my three favorite Lovano albums, the last two of which constitute the nonet group:

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e11312msghf.jpg

f95085fzop0.jpg

Edited by MartyJazz

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...The initial note in this thread mentions that the "common opinion" is that he sounds like Rollins.  I've never heard anyone say that, nor seen such an assertion in print,  and of course, IMO, he does not at all evoke the Rollins of any period from the '50s through the current time...

well then, you're hearing it from me. on record, and especially live, i hear rollins' influence in lovano's phrasing and the way he approaches standards. of course, i also hear the mark of coleman hawkins (maybe more so than ben webster), who had a considerable influence on sonny.

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...The initial note in this thread mentions that the "common opinion" is that he sounds like Rollins.  I've never heard anyone say that, nor seen such an assertion in print,  and of course, IMO, he does not at all evoke the Rollins of any period from the '50s through the current time...

well then, you're hearing it from me. on record, and especially live, i hear rollins' influence in lovano's phrasing and the way he approaches standards. of course, i also hear the mark of coleman hawkins (maybe more so than ben webster), who had a considerable influence on sonny.

Being influenced by someone and sounding like someone can be two different things. To say that Lovano has been influenced by Rollins is not saying much because practically every modern saxophonist has been influenced by Coltrane &/or Rollins. For example, I can hear Rollins' influence in the playing of Clifford Jordan, Joe Henderson, Branford Marsalis and even Archie Shepp but none of them sound like Rollins to me. In the same way, Lovano doesn't sound at all like Rollins to my ears no matter even if Newk is his main influence which I don't believe he is in any event.

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c888406ks5b.jpg

I'm not a Lovano nut, but I do like his playing quite a bit. The above album, especially the disc with Harrell, is really nice. I also really enjoy his work with Motian and Frisell.

Guy

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From the Soul is the classic Lovano album, I think; certainly the one I play most, anyway.

I was just thinking yesterday that it's a pity that Blue Note's never taken Lovano up on his stated interest in doing an album of Emil Boyd's compositions.

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I agree with a lot of the above opinions.

I think Lovano is a great player, not an innovator, but he does have a unique sound.

Where I think he falls short is his writing, I wish that more of his compositions would grab me.

I have a number of cds where he is the leader and "from the soul" "landmarks" and the "Quartets:at the vanguard" (not the 52nd street band at the vanguard which had horrible sound) come to mind as being very good.

But I do agree with others who say that my favorite work of his is with the Paul Motian Trio.

Edited by skeith

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I have been a fan of Lovano since hearing him in John Scofield's quartet in the late eighties. His contributions to the Paul Motian group also caught my attention. For the most part I have enjoyed his Blue Note recordings, but some of his "concept" albums have been less appealing to me. I have not heard either of the discs with Hank Jones yet. I caught him live a couple of times and each time he was impressive. One in particular that comes to mind is a concert at Town Hall where he was a guest artist with Joshua Redman's group. He really showed the young lad how it is done that night.

One recording that I have always enjoyed that has not been mentioned is the Enja release, Sounds of Joy with Anthony Cox and Ed Blackwell.

Edited by relyles

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I like Lovano.

Probably listen the most to From the Soul and 52nd Street Themes. Rush Hour is very good, too.

I really love the Motian album, the third in the Broadway series, that adds Lee Konitz to the mix. Beautiful stuff.

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I find Lovano to be uneven but I do enjoy much of his work.  The initial note in this thread mentions that the "common opinion" is that he sounds like Rollins.  I've never heard anyone say that, nor seen such an assertion in print,  and of course, IMO, he does not at all evoke the Rollins of any period from the '50s through the current time.

In any event, these are my three favorite Lovano albums, the last two of which constitute the nonet group:

c888406ks5b.jpg

e11312msghf.jpg

f95085fzop0.jpg

Martin, I must say I like your selection of Lovano's best much more than Alon's. Love the Quartet set in particular. The Sinatra disc, on the other hand, gathers dust and sneers on my shelf...

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I agree with a lot of the above opinions.

I think Lovano is a great player, not an innovator, but he does have a unique sound.

Where I think he falls short is his writing, I wish that more of his compositions would grab me.

I have a number of cds where he is the leader and "from the soul" "landmarks" and the "Quartets:at the vanguard" (not the 52nd street band at the vanguard which had horrible sound) come to mind as being very good.

But I do agree with others who say that my favorite work of his is with the Paul Motian Trio.

I can't believe I forgot to mention the two latest records with Hank Jones, George Mraz and Paul Motian. They are great!!!

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lovano is the kind of guy i write off in my mind immediately since he seems like the type of character to wear a beret and sunglasses and have a goatee and call people "cats". so it relieves me to know that in the great scheme of the jazz music continuum he will be nothing but a blip on the radar screen. though thirty years from now i am sure he will still be hanging around making tribute album after tribute album.

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lovano is the kind of guy i write off in my mind immediately since he seems like the type of character to wear a beret and sunglasses and have a goatee and call people "cats". .

In that case you probably don't dig Diz either.......?

Oops, I said "dig". ;)

BTW, I don't like everything Lovano has put out, but the cat* CAN play IMHO!

*oops again........... :cool:

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no i should have clarified. diz was there-he was and is part of the jazz tradition. well he created a lot of what i would consider jazz tradition. lovano seems like the kind of guy who sort of shoves himself in there, into the jazz pantheon or whatever. copping off of what legit people like diz created. this is just my opinion.

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no i should have clarified.  diz was there-he was and is part of the jazz tradition.  well he created a lot of what i would consider jazz tradition.  lovano seems like the kind of guy who sort of shoves himself in there, into the jazz pantheon or whatever.  copping off of what legit people like diz created.  this is just my opinion.

I guess I don't really hear this at all. I'm guessing Lovano will never be considered a "giant" (though who knows?), but people will probably look back at him and say "interesting straightahead saxophonist that was a versatile player, couldn't straight-jacketed into any format, and made some good music." Whether that makes him a "blip" or not depends on the definition.

Your suggestion that Lovano is a phony is ridiculous IMHO.

Guy

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Your suggestion that Lovano is a phony is ridiculous IMHO.

Indeed. He's lived and breathed it all his life. I've seen him twice, and the second concert was one of the most engaging performances I've had the pleasure of attending.

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To be fair, I can see where you're coming from - the air he gives off can sometimes err on the side of "hipster cool," but as if from the 1950's. And I have to admit, not too much since Friendly Fire, or maybe the Nonet dates, has really grabbed me (I make a special exception for the disc with Hank Jones from last year - but that was more for hearing Hank than Lovano).

Still, to be sure, Lovano has been around for decades... he was paying his dues in bigbands with some of the greats before some of us around here were even born. I don't think it's a real contrived hipster-ness, just - much like his playing - something that feels natural to him, based on the time he's put in and the environment he came out of.

But I don't really know him, so maybe I'm just talking out of my ass here. :P

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I remember first becoming aware of him when he was part of Woody Herman's Herd in the 70s (he plays some nice solos on the 40th Anniversary recording).

I've met him several times and he is a gracious and humble gentleman. No jiveness whatsoever. He sat in with the Herman band on a Europe gig a few years ago and traded with Frank Tiberi on Giant Steps. And it was burnin'. :g

As I said, I don't like every single thing he's done, but he seems to me to be sincere and honest in all his projects.

Not sure what you're basing your opinion on, akanalog, but I think you might be writing him off a bit harshly. Your perception of him (as a person, not a player) seems to be based on speculation. :)

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I don't have a lot of Lovano. But, you don't get where he is by being a bad musician. Like the style or not...that's a personal choice I understand. But that guy is a great musician. Something I respect immensely.

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Lovano seems to me to be an honest musician working reasonably hard at his craft. I just can't connect with his stuff. Not his problem.

This puts him above 80% of current folks I am aware of. :cool:

I'd rather hear Chuck Burdelik.

Edited by Chuck Nessa

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I may be the only one here but from checking out only a couple of Lovano records like "From The Soul" and "Trio Fascination Edition One", (which I borrowed from the library) and his appearance on Branford's "The Dark Keys" that to my ear I hear a Joe Henderson influence in his tone, I think its the roundness. Also, from what I understand his tenor is made of wood, so it has an excuse me, woodier sound I guess you can say.

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