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Joe Lovano/Greg Osby: Friendly Fire

The pairing of saxophonists Joe Lovano and Greg Osby on Friendly Fire may never have happened were it not for Blue Note’s 60th birthday. Therein lies the difference between Alfred Lion’s day and Bruce Lundvall’s; what was once a regular occurrence now requires high-profile anniversary-pegged special projects.

Granted, Lovano and Osby are not a pair one would automatically link for such a summit conference, more so for their disparate temperaments than any stylistic dissimilarities. Possessing enough of a sentimental streak to don a fedora for a Sinatra songbook album cover, Lovano has a winsome knack for giving knotty compositions a big-hearted glow. Osby thrives on edge, whether tapping hip-hop flavors or post-bop contours; nostalgia isn’t in his mix.

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