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Thursday, January 24, 2019

CD Review: Joe Lovano – Trio Tapestry

Joe Lovano (tenor saxophone, tárogató*, gongs); Marilyn Crispell (piano); Carmen Castaldi (drums, percussion).
(Review by Hugh C)

I would wager that, in the manner of the esteemed organ on which this review is presented, Joe Lovano has collected a few gongs during the course of his distinguished career.  He brings them out to play with on this recording.  Trio Tapestry is Lovano’s first release as a leader on ECM and introduces a new group, although the individual members are well known to each other.

Lovano launches the CD with a series of these gongs at the outset.  What follows is a more a forty-eight-minute sequence of crafted sonic explorations in twelve tones rather than a series of tunes.  Although the CD is banded, the gaps between the tracks are barely perceptible.  The result is, in Lovano’s words in the CD booklet:  “...a melodic, harmonic, rhythmic musical tapestry throughout...”   Each of the trio members contribute to the whole, in equal measure.
 On close inspection (as in preparation for this review) the intricacy of the work and the quality of the craftspersonship of each of the constituent parts can be appreciated, but - as with the tapestry’s visual analogue – the piece is best appreciated from a distance, in its entirety.

Track Listing: One Time In; Seeds of Change; Razzle Dazzle; Sparkle Lights; Mystic; Piano/Drum Episode; Gong Episode; Rare Beauty; Spirit Lake; Tarrassa; The Smiling Dog.

All are composed by Joe Lovano, but with improvisational contribution from all trio members.  The effect is perhaps different from most other Lovano output, but, in his own words: “...this recording is a statement of where I am, where I’ve been and where I may be headed.”

Trio Tapestry is released by ECM on 25th January 2019.  The band will tour on this side of the Atlantic in May 2019, but travel restrictions may apply as all the concerts are in Germany or the Czech Republic!
Hugh C.


*Tárogató  – a member of the woodwind family not dissimilar to a clarinet or soprano saxophone.

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