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Joe Lovano

You might think by glancing over the list of accolades garnered by Grammy-winning saxophonist/composer Joe Lovano that this renowned musician has found an established formula for success – and that he has. Unlike other artists who consistently repeat themselves and stay within the confines of their own self imposed parameters, the secret to Lovano’s success is his fearless ability to push the conceptual and thematic choices he makes in a quest for new modes of artistic expression and new takes on what defines the jazz idiom.

With Folk Art, his 21st recording for Blue Note, Joe Lovano debuts Us Five, a dynamic new ensemble and one of the most exciting of his acclaimed career that collectively breathes a youthful exuberance into the first-ever Lovano album to be comprised entirely of his own original compositions. Recorded in November 2008, after a preparatory week at New York’s famed Village Vanguard, Lovano presents a collection of nine original compositions for himself on tenor saxophone, straight alto saxophone, alto clarinet, tarogato, aulochrome, and percussion; – James Weidman on piano; Esperanza Spalding on bass; and Otis Brown III and Francisco Mela on-as Lovano likes to put it-drums and cymbals. He explores a wide spectrum of “colors, sounds, and feelings,” organizing the flow into passages for quintet, quartets, trios, duos, and solos within the unit, exploiting to the fullest the various rhythm section possibilities afforded by the two-drummer format.

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