****RINGER OF THE WEEK****Brussels Jazz Orchestra featuring Joe Lovano: Wild Beauty

Tenor saxist Joe Lovano has released a plethora of albums with a wide variety of themes, ranging from Sinatra to Caruso tributes with 52nd St. Bebop in between. This one, backed (in the broadest sense of the word) by the Brussels Jazz Orchestra which is arranged by Gil Goldstein, is possibly his best ever, and easily ranks up there with his classic Rush Hour.

He takes material he’s covered before in previous albums, but allows the Brussels Jazz Orchestra and Goldstein to put them into an entirely different and more elaborate framework. So, you’ve got material ranging from Viva Caruso (“Streets of Naples” and “Viva Caruso”) as well as songs from his most recent band, the Us Five, with “Wild Beauty” and “Powerhouse.” Lovano does most of the tenor soloing, except for a nice cameo by Kurt Van Herck on the wondrously lyrical “Viva Caruso,” and a handful of solos sneak in here and there as on Nico Schepers/tp on “Powerhouse” and Frank Vaganee/as on “Miss Etna” as well as a rotating team on “Big Ben” in which Lovano displays his aulochrome on the 12 minute workout. Lovano sounds inspired and pushed to enthusiasm throughout as the orchestra jabs, pokes and cajoles him on the energetic “Wild Beauty” or the lyrical “Our Daily Bread” which spotlights Nathalie Loriers gracious piano. Here is music that is well conceived, arranged and delivered with verve, conviction and energy. Your mind will be spinning with enthusiasm after multiple exposures. Encore!

Half Note Records


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