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Joe Lovano: 52nd Street Themes

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Lovano’s venture in nostalgia is a visit to the music that he heard when he was growing up and becoming a musician in Cleveland. Fortunately for him, and for the listener, what he heard under the aegis of his father were the great jazz artists of the ’40s and ’50s. The compositions the tenor saxophonist explores were written or played by Tadd Dameron, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Ernie Henry, Billy Strayhorn and George Gershwin. Lovano and his father’s friend and colleague Willie “Face” Smith arranged seven of them for a nine-piece band. In voicings and harmonic movement, the nonet arrangements are modern reflections of Dameron’s style, including affecting versions of “If You Could See Me Now,” “Tadd’s Delight,” “Whatever Possessed Me” and “On a Misty Night.”

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