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Joe Lovano: Flights of Fancy: Trio Fascination, Edition Two

Flights of Fancy, edition two of saxophonist Joe Lovano’s trio series, presents a quiet program boasting four different trio settings for his reeds: bass and drums with Cameron Brown and Idris Muhammad; percussion and drums with Billy Drewes and Joey Baron; harmonica and piano with Toots Thielemans and Kenny Werner; and bass and trumpet with Mark Dresser and Dave Douglas.

There are times when even the most skilled bass, drum and horn trio can reach a malaise because there is no chordal instrument to provide a foundation. To keep things spirited, Lovano sought, and achieves, a fine sense of balance on Flights of Fancy: the trios are alternated on nearly every track, and each has its own distinct personality. Lovano and Thielemans achieve a nice level of communication, with the saxophonist leading the dialogue “On April,” a variation of “I’ll Remember April,” and Lovano and Douglas give off shades of Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry on their collaborations, particularly “Amsterdam.”

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