Grammy-winning horn player to bring quintet to Ann ArborWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
If you catch Joe Lovano’s Us Five Quintet in concert, it’s like seeing 24 jazz groups.
“Within the one quintet, we have a quintet sound, we have four quartets, 10 trios, nine duos and five unaccompanied voices,” the saxophonist said via phone after playing a gig in Adelaide, Australia.
“I thought it would be really interesting to have a quintet with [two drummers] in it and tried to create some new music and ways of playing together where we really created different tapestries and different combinations.”
Joining Lovano for the 8 p.m. Nov. 7 show at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor will be bass player Esperanza Spalding, pianist James Weidman, and drummers Francisco Mela and Otis Brown III. Opening the concert will be pianist Jason Moran. Tickets range from $18 to $44.
“We’re going to play in Ann Arbor and then we’re going to do a week at the Village Vanguard [in New York City],” Lovano said. “Then the following week we’re going into the studio for my next release from Blue Note Records.”
His latest disc, “Symphonica,” was recorded live with the WDR Radio Big Band and Orchestra from Cologne, Germany. For the orchestral project, the composer picked songs he had written during his career.
That record also spotlights Lovano’s experimentation with different ways to express himself. The 55-year-old is constantly jamming with various players and ensembles.
“What’s inspiring is the people that you play with,” the Cleveland native said. “And realizing early on that jazz music is a multicultural experience and a multigenerational celebration and through the years playing with that awareness and that amount of scope has just propelled me to do the things that I’m doing.”
The sax man won a Grammy Award for Best Large Ensemble in 2000 for “52nd Street Themes.”
“You play and you create music spontaneously with an ensemble. It’s an experience not only for us playing, but for the audience,” Lovano said. “And for me, it’s really about how expressive can I be? You know, it’s all about telling stories, and I try to tell a story on each piece that means something to me so I could play it for you and hopefully touch you in some way. That’s what jazz is really about — it’s telling stories.”
Visit www.joelovano.com for more information.