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I’m on Instagram!

I’m on Instagram! Follow me @joelovanojazz for more Reflections and Projections…

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Jazz titans team up in celebration of Berkeley venue's milestone anniversary

Joshua Redman joins Joe Lovano in concert at the California Jazz Conservatory, which has kicked off its 25th anniversary celebration.
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TIDAL Playlist

The folks over at TIDAL asked Judi Silvano and I to put together a playlist to in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Judi and I live a life of love and love the life we live, sharing the blessings.

Click here to listen

???? Christian Kallen


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The Annual "Jazz Forum" Jazz Top 2021 - READERS' POLL

Joe Lovano and the Marcin Wasilewski Trio win Concert of the Year in the Annual JAZZ FORUM JAZZ TOP 2021 Readers’ Poll for the double concert tour: Marcin Wasilewski Trio & Joe Lovano “Arctic Riff” Tour 2021 + Marcin Wasilewski Trio “En attendant” Tour 2021.

A hearty thank you to the readers who voted!

Click here to read the full list of winners


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Tasty Jazz Jams For Our Times: Vol. 2

“Tasty Jazz Jams for Our Times” is back with Volume 2! More jazzy stories from behind the music that, when set against the worldwide lockdown, prove the dogged determination and extreme creativity of musicians who can’t be held back. Listen in on over 40 fantastic interviews with beloved and seasoned masters like Ron Carter, Mimi Fox, Joe Lovano, Claire Daly and Harvie S as well as their innovative and emerging counterparts: Hettie Loxston, Mattias Nilsson, Nicole McCabe and Oli Morris. Includes a foreword from jazz fusion innovator Jeff Lorber and a special note from the amazing New York City vocalist Grace Garland. Jazz from around the world just got a little louder and a little more swingin’.


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Westchester Magazine

Thanks to Zach over at Westchester Magazine for the kind words. Nice chatting with you, man. READ HERE


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Live Chat TODAY!

Live chat for Greenleaf Music subscribers with Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas
Monday, November 29 at 4pm NYC time
Get in on this exclusive chat and bring your questions!
Click here for more info


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Trio Tapestry Reviews

On Trio Tapestry : ​It is entirely characteristic of Joe Lovano, who parted ways with Blue Note Records in 2016 after releasing 25 leader or co-led albums in 26 years, that he would use his ECM debut, ‘Trio Tapestry,’ as an opportunity to introduce a brand-new ensemble.

Joined by pianist Marilyn Crispell and drummer Carmen Castaldi, veterans who embody what Lovano calls “the spirit of now” with an attitude of concision, the leader—playing tenor saxophone, tárogató and gongs—presents a meditative, gradually ascendant recital of 11 “episodes.” The musicians navigate an abstract “stream of expression” that Lovano traces to his sixth Blue Note album, ‘Rush Hour,’ a collaboration with Gunther Schuller that topped the Jazz Album category in the 1995 DownBeat Critics Poll and the 1995 DownBeat Readers Poll.

“I’ve been studying and trying to get deep into these concepts since before ‘Rush Hour,’” Lovano continued. “But it started to crystallize when I began writing for this session with Marilyn, whose playing comes from a similar place, and with Carmen, whose approach is so transparent and beautiful—his bass drum and one cymbal are [lead] instruments in themselves. Each piece has a tapestry of interwoven themes and harmonies and rhythmic ideas that make it work.”

Read full review here

DownBeat

Ted Panken

On Trio Tapestry : Although he acquired a “tenor titan” reputation over the years and started his career gigging in top-tier organ groups that required a huge sound (with Jack McDuff and Lonnie Smith), Lovano has also developed into one of our most introspective saxophonists, armed with a tone that can also be a whisper or a confession. The most introspective jazz record label, ECM, has featured Lovano in the groups of other musicians, but Trio Tapestry is his debut for the label. Playing with ECM stalwart pianist Marilyn Crispell and fellow Cleveland native Carmen Castaldi on drums, Lovano has put together a program of minimal tone poems that explore musical space and its relationship to silence.

[…] This band both rises to the occasion of such lyricism and goes beyond it. Lovano’s sound is utterly his own: woody and personal while still gentle and sumptuous. Crispell could never be mistaken for other ECM pianists of fame, whether Keith Jarrett or Bobo Stenson. She is utterly her own through note choice, phrasing, voicing, and rhythmic temperament’“creating a voice that feels both still and teetering on the edge of potential energy.

And perhaps that is the difference with this band on ECM. There is never any stillness in this set of performances. They, like composer and saxophonist Joe Lovano, are in a constant state of becoming and evolving. It is music in motion, even if that motion is mostly slow.

PopMatters

Will Layman

On Trio Tapestry : Veteran saxophone player Joe Lovano is one of the most acclaimed and beloved horn wielders in jazz, and no wonder: with his work with Woody Herman, John Scofield, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell and Paul Motian and countless others, not to mention his own long series of LPs as leader, he’s had a large hand in defining late twentieth century postbop. For Trio Tapestry, his debut for the venerable label ECM, he enlists pianist Marilyn Crispell and drummer Carmen Castaldi for a more meditative program than we’re used to hearing from him. Working with less frenetic tempos and floating melodies, the saxophonist digs deep into the tracks, exploring their nooks and crannies instead of using them for takeoff. In the vein of Lovano’s old bandmate Motian, Castaldi doesn’t so much set the rhythms as imply them, while Crispell wanders across her keyboard with intent. Lovano slips into the quiet storm like a dancer, finding the core of his sidefolks’ swirl and bringing it to shimmering life. The beauteous ‘Seeds of Change’ and ‘Razzle Dazzle’ and tension-filled ‘Spirit Lake’ and ‘Rare Beauty’ showcase the trio’s telepathic interplay and sublime taste, while ‘The Smiling Dog’ and the self-explanatory ‘Piano/Drum Episode’ and ‘Gong Episode’ indicate a goofy sense of humor. But ‘Mystic’ may be the album’s heart. Barely accompanied by Castaldi, Lovano pushes the top of his horn’s range high up in the ether, like he’s eager, but not desperate, to touch the divine.

The Big Takeover

Michael Toland

On Trio Tapestry : Joe Lovano’s first album as a leader on ECM introduces a new trio. Marilyn Crispell is a pianist from the jazz avant-garde. Her background is unusual for a Lovano collaborator. Carmen Castaldi is a drummer from the Paul Motian school of minimalism. The first track, “One Time In,” opens with Lovano on gongs. You know the haunting sound from your dreams. A nocturnal atmosphere descends. Lovano’s first tenor saxophone notes are soft and measured, adjectives not often applied to his music. Such rapt inner focus, such quietude, has long been associated with the ECM aesthetic.

[…] But here, in this spare context, he deals with fewer ideas and therefore concentrates on the essential ones. It is fascinating to hear him develop diverse melodies from the stepping stones of his tunes. In this bare trio, the beauty of his musical logic is laid bare. The reverberations of his gongs add mystery and also suggest key centers for improvisation.

To read more click here

JazzTimes

Thomas Conrad

On Trio Tapestry : For anyone who has followed the career of saxophonist Joe Lovano, it might be hard to believe he’s never released an album for ECM Records. Yes, he’s a longtime Blue Note artist whose most recent release — by Sound Prints, the quintet he leads with trumpeter Dave Douglas — can be found on Douglas’ label, Greenleaf Music.

But Lovano has been a vital presence within the ECM ecosystem for more than 35 years, on albums by drummer Paul Motian and others. (A couple of those were credited to “Paul Motian, Joe Lovano, Bill Frisell.”) He’s finally about to have an ECM title solely under his own name: Trio Tapestry, which the label will release on Jan. 25.

The album features a new band with pianist Marilyn Crispell and drummer Carmen Castaldi, who come with some pertinent history. Crispell is a veteran ECM artist who, like Lovano, had a deep musical connection with Motian. And Castaldi has been a compatriot of Lovano’s since their teenage years in Cleveland; they matriculated the same year at the Berklee School of Music. All of which informs the intimate character of the music on Trio Tapestry, which Lovano composed with attunement to 12-tone techniques.

The music on this album is shadowy and supple, designed to drift according to the slightest gesture by any one of the musicians. That art of implication is fully evident on “Rare Beauty,” which has its premiere here.

Beginning with a soft rumble of Castaldi’s toms, the piece eases into a melodic line that Lovano and Crispell play together in a free-flowing rubato. It’s very much in tune with the style that Lovano and Crispell each favored in trios with Motian. (It also bears a relationship to the lyricism of Ornette Coleman – which likely explains the title, with its echo of “Beauty is a Rare Thing.”) And the pliable cohesion on display underscores how much this is a collective achievement.

WBGO

Nate Chinen


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Jazz for the Planet

“Climate change” isn’t really about climate. It’s about people, migration, food, water, access, health, education, and fairness of opportunity,” declared Fio Omenetto, a director of the Tällberg Foundation. If we don’t fix our climate now, there will be too much to fix later.”

That spirit underlies “Tällberg’s Jazz for the Planet,” an initiative created under the leadership of Omenetto that brought together a group of world-class musicians to create and perform new music about the climate. The music was first performed during a live recording session on October 19th in Boston and will be streamed globally beginning November 1st.

The musicians, led by Saxophonist Marco Pignataro, included Terri Lyne Carrington (drums), Joe Lovano (saxophone), John Patitucci (bass), Chico Pinheiro (guitar), Anastassiya Petrova (piano) and Nadia Washington (vocals). Collectively, the group has nearly fifty nominations and 7 Grammy Awards, and several of them have been recognized among the best performers in jazz today. During the performance, Omenetto said that, “These amazing artists have wholeheartedly embraced the urgency of addressing the mess we have made of our climate. They are using their talents to shape a message of hope, rather than the despair that consumes too many activists.”

Bringing such talent together requires inspiration as well as leadership. Pignataro, as artistic director for the performance, provided both. As he put it, “From culture and identity, to racial and social justice, jazz music has historically been a powerful medium to inspire, educate, empower and advocate for social change in our community. Using jazz to advocate for reforms to climate policies…is now a mandate for us as conscious artists, caring for our world.”

New music about the climate was written for this performance by Pignataro (“Moon Threads”), Lovano (“As it should be”) and Patitucci (“Terra—Mare—Cielo”). Other original music performed included Pignataro’s “On Irene’s Path,” which he wrote after the 2011 hurricane Irene devastated the U.S. East Coast.

The musicians said they were energized by the chance to work together on this project. “It was a joy and a blessing writing this music,” said Patitucci. I feel that our planet is such a precious gift that comes with a responsibility to do all we can to preserve it.” On the sheet music for “As it should be,” Lovano simply wrote: “Freedom, Justice, Hope, Love, Compassion.”

The idea of integrating music and performance in order not only to better understand critical policy issues, but also to motivate action has been part of the Tällberg Foundation’s approach for decades. “Artists—musicians, actors, painters, poets, dancers and others—speak to us emotionally in ways that deepen understanding,” according to Tällberg’s chairman, Alan Stoga. “These kinds of performances go way beyond entertainment: they are calls to action in the most elemental and emotional ways. We need both heads and hearts to have any chance of coping with accelerating climate change.”

The performance was hosted and produced by Boston’s GBH, which operates in television, radio, and online streaming and creates a vast array of cultural and news content as a member station of National Public Radio and affiliate of Public Radio International. Speaking of the partnership with the Tällberg Foundation that drove the initiative, Tony Rudel, GBH Music’s General Manager said, “Millions of words have been spoken about the climate crisis, and yet so little has advanced. Turning to great music, and specifically great jazz seems incredibly apt and timely. Perhaps this amazing event will advance the conversation, for as Hans Christian Andersen wrote, ‘Where words fail, music speaks.’”

The production will be streamed online on Tällberg’s website as well as other platforms in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa as of November 1st.

For more information, go to: jazzfortheplanet.org


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Set in stone

An honor has just been bestowed on me beyond my wildest dreams. A sculpture was created in my image, commissioned by one of my distant (but close) cousins, Calogero Saraniti, on his estate 1 km outside of Cesaro, Sicily. My grandparents on my mother’s side of the family, the Verzi/Saraniti families, were from this village. It’s in the province of Messina, in the mountains, with Mt. Etna it its sights. My sculpture is placed in the context of a green mountain hillside, visible from the road in San Teodoro, approaching Cesaro. Thank you Calogero for this great honor you have given me and the Lovano/Faraci families of Alcara li Fusi in the same area and the Verzi/Saraniti families of Cesaro. I am obviously Overwhelmed and Overjoyed. Viva Italia!!!