Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Joe Lovano: Streams of Expression

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

These quasi-repertory albums can be a tricky lot, especially when dealing with a legendary work. Unless they come up with something radically different-David S. Ware’s take on Sonny Rollins’ “The Freedom Suite,” for instance-they can end up descending into drudgery. The prolific saxophonist Joe Lovano mostly avoids that pitfall with Streams of Expression.

This disc can be considered something of a sequel to 1995’s Rush Hour, which stands among Lovano’s very best. That album paired him with conductor and Third Stream proselytizer Gunther Schuller, and here the master rejoins Lovano. But this time Schuller reaches back into personal history: Between the two halves of Lovano’s “Streams of Expression Suite” we find “Birth of the Cool Suite.” Yes, Schuller-who played on those pioneering Miles Davis nonet sessions-helps revive it for another large ensemble here. The music is interesting enough, especially when Lovano solos, but this is not a disc that will find itself in my CD changer often. (When I want to hear Birth of the Cool, I’ll play Birth of the Cool.)

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.