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Joe Lovano
Joe Lovano  Biography
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Beginning in 1991 with his first engagement as a leader (at the Village Vanguard), Joe Lovano has experimented with different ensembles which reflect his searching and dynamic personality. As much a composer as player, Joe is constantly seeking new ways to express his muse. Out of his thinking, writing and playing he has come to work, as a leader, with two basic ensembles - a piano-less Quartet and the Universal Language Sextet. The Sextet (which name derives from its Blue Note debut album 'Universal Language') features the soprano voice of Judi Silvano, whose wordless vocals mesh beautifully in both ensemble and improvised passages with Joe, as well as trumpeter Tim Hagans and pianist Kenny Werner. The critical response to the Sextet's album and live concerts has been extraordinary, with 'DownBeat' giving it a 5 star review which was considered so exceptional it was reprinted in their recent 60th Anniversary Issue. The Quartet in person features either Tom Harrell or Tim Hagans on trumpet, along with Anthony Cox on bass and Billy Hart on drums. A recent live recording from the Village Vanguard was released in the Fall of 1995 on Blue Note in a special double "Live at the Village Vanguard" CD including a more recent recording from the same club with a quartet including Mulgrew Miller, Christian McBride and Lewis Nash. Joe's 1994 release, 'Tenor Legacy' which features tenor saxophonist Josh Redman, received wide critical acclaim, culminating in a Grammy nomination for "Best Jazz Small Group Recording."

With both the Jazz audience and the critics increasingly recognizing Joe Lovano's unique voice as a tenor player, leader, and composer, Joe and his various albums have over the past several years placed consistently in the Top 10 in 'DownBeat,' 'Musician,' and 'JazzTimes,' culminating in his being given the top tenor award in this year's 'JazzTimes' Readers Poll, while 'Tenor Legacy' was selected Record of the Year in Italy's Musica Jazz.

A recent feature in 'DownBeat' characterized Joe as, "The man whom we believe to be at the top of the heap of modern tenor saxophonists." There is little else which needs to be added.

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