Thursday, August 26, 2010

Joe Lovano, Us Five

Joe Lovano, “Us five”

Origin: Born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 29th, 1952
            - Very musical household, almost everyone was involved with music one way or the other.
            - Started playing alto sax at the age of 5 while a couple years later moving into a tenor sax.
            - Attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and shortly after graduation made his recording debut with organ master Lonnie Smith and worked with Jack McDuff.
            - Joined Woody Herman’s band shortly after.
-Woodrow Charles Herman (May 16, 1913 – October 29, 1987), known as Woody Herman, was an American jazz clarinetist, alto and soprano saxophonist, singer, and big band leader. Leading various groups called "The Herd," Herman was one of the most popular of the 1930s and '40s bandleaders. His bands basically played jazz and blues, often including rather experimental material for their time.
- "Brother" Jack McDuff (September 17, 1926-January 23, 2001) Born Eugene McDuffy in Champaign, Illinois, McDuff began playing bass, appearing in Joe Farrell's group. Encouraged by Willis Jackson in whose band he also played bass in the late 50s, McDuff moved to the organ and began to attract the attention of Prestige Records while still with Jackson's group. McDuff soon became a bandleader, leading groups featuring a young George Benson, Red Holloway on saxophone and Joe Dukes on drums, often performing with an organ trio.
- Dr. Lonnie Smith was born in Lackawanna, New York, (just outside of Buffalo), into a family with a vocal group and radio program. Smith says that his mother was a major influence on him musically, as she introduced him to gospel, classical, and jazz music. He was part of several vocal ensembles in the 1950s, including the Teen Kings. Art Kubera, the owner of a local music store, gave Smith his first organ, a Hammond B3.

            -Folk Art is his 22nd album with his record label Blue Note.
             - Jazz Times named Folk Art, “Album of the year.”
            -Lovano broke both arms in two different accidents at the end of the year in 2009 that costed their tour to be post poned.

Band Members:
            - Pianist is James Weidman which is know to be a veratan and has worked with Lovano before.
            - Bassist is Ezperanza Spalding who is a rising star in the world of jazz. She is 25, and also teaches at Berklee.
            - Drummer: Otis Brown is a new comer in the scene
            - 2nd Drummer: Francisco Mela.
                        - The reason for two drummers is because it makes things more dynamic, and more interesting.
             -“Open-ended approach and expansive freedom, Spalding, Brown and Mela are unafraid to venture into unfamiliar territory, forcing Weidman and Lovano to challenge their own concepts of expression.”
            - After reading about Joe Lovano, Us Five I have realized that they are quickly rising group within the Jazz community, world wide. I have yet to read a bad review. And it’s really interesting how each place describes them positively in different ways.
            - They are adventurous, influential, appealing, fearless, youthful, eclectic, full of character, fun and spontaneous.

Random Facts:
- Joe Lovano has a nickname of Cat in the Hat
- He has taught and has been a guest at many different colleges: William Patterson college, NYU, New school of jazz program, Guest clinician at Julliard, Manhatten school of music, and the new England conservatory of music, east man school of music, and university of Miami. Also has visited Belgian, France and Tokyo universities.
            - Has named a few songs after influential people on Folk Art.
            - Grammy Winner, nominated twice, won once.
            - Want people to think Jazz in the folk art of America.

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