Joe Lovano

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Joe Lovano Newport Jazz Festival 2005
Joe Lovano Newport Jazz Festival 2005
Chart positions
Explanation of the data
Arctic Riff (with the Marcin Wasilewski Trio)
  CH 64 07/05/2020 (1 week)

Joseph S. "Joe" Lovano (born December 29, 1952 in Cleveland , Ohio ) is an American jazz saxophonist. According to Martin Kunzler, the musician has "developed his comprehensive skills consistently and in different stylistic environments so far" that he has brought the history of the tenor saxophone to a common denominator and has meanwhile recommended himself as Joe Henderson's successor.

Live and act

Lovano was trained as a child by his father, tenor saxophonist Tony "Big T" Lovano. After high school, he went to the Berklee School of Music in Boston , where he was a student of Herb Pomeroy , Joe Viola , Andy McGhee , John LaPorta and Gary Burton and worked with musicians such as John Scofield , Bill Frisell and Kenny Werner . The Berklee School awarded him the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1994 , an honorary doctorate in 1998 and the Gary Burton Chair for Jazz Performance in 2001 .

After Berklee School he played with Dr. Lonnie Smith , who brought him to New York , made his first album, Afrodesia . After working with Jack McDuff , he took part in Woody Herman's anniversary tour, the climax of which was The 40th Anniversary Concert at Carnegie Hall in 1976, which also included Stan Getz , Frank Tiberi , Zoot Sims , Al Cohn , Jimmy Giuffre and Flip Phillips .

After three years of working with Woody Herman, during which he also took part in a European tour, Lovano settled in New York. It was here that he began working with the singer and dancer Judi Silvano , whom he later married. With the Mel Lewis Orchestra he had six albums by 1992. In addition, he worked a. a. with Elvin Jones , Carla Bley , Lee Konitz , Charlie Haden and Bob Brookmeyer . Since 1981 he has also performed with Paul Motian and Bill Frisell . From 1989 to 1993 he was a member of the John Scofields Quartet. In addition, he stepped u. a. with Gunther Schuller , Herbie Hancock , Bobby Hutcherson , Dave Brubeck , Billy Higgins , Dave Holland , Ed Blackwell , Michel Petrucciani , Abbey Lincoln , Tom Harrell , McCoy Tyner and Jim Hall . Compassion: The Music of John Coltrane ( Resonance Records ) was created in 2007 with Dave Liebman .

In 1985 his first album was released as a band leader with Tones, Shapes and Colors , and in 1991 his first album on Blue Note From The Soul. This was followed by Universal Language, Down Beat, and 1994 Tenor Legacy with Joshua Redman , which was nominated for a Grammy . At rush hour in 1995 he recorded pieces by Charles Mingus , Ornette Coleman , Thelonious Monk , Duke Ellington and Gunther Schuller , some with a large cast , in addition to his own compositions .

The other recordings from the 1990s are almost all permanent working bands, some with guests. His album Quartet at the Village Vanguard in 1996 Jazz Album of the Year of the Downbeat magazine, and in 1997 received two Grammy nominations. Even Joe Lovano Celebrating Sinatra (1997) was nominated for a Grammy 1998th In 1998 he recorded Flying Colors with Gonzalo Rubalcaba . This was followed by Trio Fascination (1998 with Elvin Jones and Dave Holland), Friendly Fire (1999 with Greg Osby ), 52nd Street Themes (2000, with arrangements by Willie "Face" Smith ), Flights of Fancy (2001), Viva Caruso (2002 ), On This Day ... At the Vanguard (2003), I'm All for You (2004) and Joyous Encounter (2005).

The musician has long been playing with saxophones specially made by the Italian manufacturer's workshop Borgani: Borgani-Lovano tenor with Pearl Silver body and Gold 24K keys.

Lovano is the leader of the quintet Us Five , with whom he recorded the album Folk Art in 2009 together with Esperanza Spalding , James Weidman , Francisco Mella and Otis Brown III . Two years later the album Bird Songs , which was also recorded together, was released with reinterpretations of pieces by Charlie "Bird" Parker . It earned him another Grammy nomination. With the same band line-up, only on individual tracks with Peter Slavov instead of Spalding, the quintet released another album at the end of 2012 with the title Cross Culture. It is his 23rd album under his own name, but emphasizes the mutual creation of music on an equal footing. Lovano is quoted as saying: "It wasn't just to play at the same time, but to collectively create music within the music." Lovano also leads the quintet Sound Prints ( Scandal , 2018) with trumpeter Dave Douglas .

Lovano worked as a lecturer at many institutions, from 1983 to 1990 for William Patterson College in New Jersey and New York University , and also for Berklee College of Music in Boston, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1998.


  1. Emperor Jones
  2. Eternal Joy
  3. Duke Ellington's Sound of Love
  4. Alexander the Great
  5. His dreams
  6. The Dawn of Time
  7. I'm all for you

Prizes and awards

It wasn't until 1991 that Lovano was recognized in the Down Beat magazine poll as a tenor saxophonist, who deserves further attention. Already in 1995 and 1996 he was confirmed in the same poll by partly parallel victories as musician of the year, tenor saxophonist and artist of the album of the year. He achieved a similar success in 2001 and again in 2010. The album Symphonica won the 2009 Grammy Awards in 2009 .

Lexical entries


  1. Joe Lovano in the Swiss hit parade
  2. custom-made Borgani-Lovano tenor
  3. Editor's Pick: Joe Lovano Us Five new Album ( Memento from February 16, 2013 in the web archive ) at Longwood Gardens , Review by Eugene Holley Jr. in Philadelphia Weekly from January 15, 2013, accessed January 18, 2013
  4. WDR Big Band - Symphonica (accessed April 27, 2019)
  5. Joe Lovano Earns a DownBeat Triple Crown

Web links