Big Ben – 2021

Joe Lovano


A swinging blues with the Emmet Cohen Trio

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Joe Lovano has been one of the top tenor-saxophonists in jazz since at least the mid-1980s when he followed up a three-year period touring with the Woody Herman Orchestra with associations with John Scofield and a trio with Paul Motian and Bill Frisell.

Lovano has led at least 30 albums of his own since then and been involved in a countless number of projects including leading a nonet and being part of Saxophone Summit with Dave Liebman and Michael Brecker.

In 2021, he was the guest on an edition of the LiveStreams hosted by pianist Emmet Cohen and featuring Cohen’s trio with bassist Russell Hall and drummer Kyle Poole.

Lovano dedicated the medium tempo blues (“Big Ben”) to Ben Webster.

After Cohen plays boppishly with the trio for three minutes, Lovano takes a lengthy solo full of fresh ideas and, after a bass solo, the tenor trades off with drummer Poole.

It is a pleasure to hear Joe Lovano playing in this setting and, while his style is closer to Sonny Rollins than to Ben Webster, the latter would have appreciated the swinging tribute.

-Scott Yanow


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