Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Brussels Jazz Orchestra Featuring Joe Lovano - Wild Beauty (Half Note, 2013)

This album is a well done collaboration between the Brussels Jazz Orchestra and the prominent American saxophonist Joe Lovano. The disc presents eight Lovano compositions arranged for the big band by Gil Goldstein with Lovano featured as the primary soloist. The song "Powerhouse” is a perfect Lovano vehicle, showing his strong bebop roots which are propelled forward by aggressive drumming. “Streets of Naples” features the saxophones lightly harmonizing together with an uptempo bubbling feel. Lovano breaks out with a classy solo over piano, bass and drums. There is also an extended saxophone solo, underpinned by electric guitar. “Big Ben,” presumably written for Ben Webster is the heart and soul of the album. This is a place where saxophones and brass and swirl and sway in a kaleidoscope of sound. There is a wonderful section of saxophones playing together, developing waterfalls of cascading notes. This was a very solid album, showing the different and varied aspects of Joe Lovano both as a soloist and as a composer. The arrangements are bright and compelling and the big band plays them with verve and enthusiasm. Aficionados of large ensemble jazz will find this worth their while. Wild Beauty - amazon.com

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