Music Millennium

Joe Lovano - Symphonica [Import]


Format: CD
Label: Emi R.
Catalog: 2262252
Rel. Date: 09/02/2008
UPC: 5099922622525

Symphonica [Import]
Artist: Joe Lovano
Format: CD
New: In Stock $17.99

Formats and Editions


The great tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano has recorded in a variety of formats—with a trio, a quartet, even a nonet. He’s done his share of orchestral discs as well—notably Rush Hour (with Gunther Schuller), Celebrating Sinatra (with Manny Albam) and Viva Caruso (with Byron Olson). But Symphonica, as its name suggests, marks the first time he has recorded an entire album with a symphony.

The album also stands apart from the storied saxman’s varied oeuvre by focusing almost exclusively on Lovano compositions, with the sole exception of the Mingus tune "Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love." Thus, it provides an opportunity for Lovano to look back over his career without retracing his steps.

Lovano is accompanied throughout Symphonica by the WDR Radio Big Band and Orchestra, from Cologne, Germany, as conducted by the band’s director, Michael Abene, who also acted as arranger here. He performed for four nights in Germany with the Orchestra, and most of Symphonica is drawn from that second night of that stand (with the exception of "His Dreams," a song dedicated to Lovano’s father).

The album opens with the glorious tribute to drummer Elvin Jones, "Emperor Jones," one of Lovano’s first ballads, written in the 1980s. The disc wraps up with "I’m All for You," Lovano’s reworking of the "Body and Soul" progression, and the encore for each of his performances with the Orchestra. In between those two stunners, there are plenty of opportunities not only for typically amazing solo work from Lovano, but from individual members of the Orchestra as well. All in all, Symphonica serves as a fitting retrospective for Lovano’s 20th Blue Note recording.

back to top