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Rush Hour
Joe Lovano, Gunther Schuller
Rush Hour
Genre: Jazz
 
It's easy to understand why Joe Lovano is the most admired tenor saxophonist under the age of 50 in jazz today. The 43-year-old Cleveland native has the thick, burnished tone of swing giants such as Ben Webster and Lester ...  more »

      
   
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CD Details

All Artists: Joe Lovano, Gunther Schuller
Title: Rush Hour
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Blue Note Records
Original Release Date: 2/7/1995
Re-Release Date: 8/19/2008
Genre: Jazz
Style: Modern Postbebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 724382926924, 0724382926955, 724382926948, 724382926955, 072438292692

Synopsis

Amazon.com
It's easy to understand why Joe Lovano is the most admired tenor saxophonist under the age of 50 in jazz today. The 43-year-old Cleveland native has the thick, burnished tone of swing giants such as Ben Webster and Lester Young, yet he is completely comfortable with the open structures and radical harmonics of such members of the vanguard as David Murray and Bill Frisell. In Lovano's playing, you can hear the essential unity of the jazz tradition. Seldom has that unity been illustrated with as much lucidity or feeling as on Lovano's Rush Hour, a brilliant album which should expand his following from critics and fellow musicians to a much wider audience. Rush Hour is an unusual album, for nine of the 13 tracks were arranged and conducted by Pulitzer Prize-winning classical composer Gunther Schuller. For four ballads, including Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss," Schuller backs Lovano with a jazz combo and a string orchestra which thickens the atmosphere without sweetening it. For four more vigorous works--including two extended Schuller compositions plus a movement from the Charles Mingus "Epitaph" symphony which Schuller resurrected--the conductor backs the saxophonist with a brass, reed, and woodwind orchestra which features some dazzling clusters of low-pitched clarinets and high-pitched saxophones. Coleman's ballad "Kathline Gray" is arranged as a jazz chamber piece for soprano sax, cello, harp, guitar, bass, and drums with gorgeous results. Lovano completed the album with three of his own compositions plus Billy Strayhorn's "Chelsea Bridge;" on these he multi-tracked various reeds and drums himself and added some truly adventurous scat singing by his wife Judy Silvano. In its perfect pairing of a major jazz voice and an uncommonly imaginative orchestrator, Rush Hour reminds one of nothing so much as Miles Davis's collaborations with Gil Evans. --Geoffrey Himes

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CD Reviews

Eclectic mix of tunes, great orchestrations
JfromJersey | 08/17/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"There is a great deal of variety on this album, with tunes from Monk, Mingus, Ellington, Coleman and a few standards and originals by Gunther Schuller and Lovano. The settings range from lush scoring for band and strings to Lovano alone. Gunther Schuller's "Rush Hour" is for me the highlight of this set- it's a frantic, 12-tone bop line with some fairly free solos. Also outstanding is the arrangement of Monk's "Crepuscule With Nellie" which manages to capture something of Monk's original quirkiness while still sounding new. This album has a lot to offer, and while some of the tracks are more accessible than others, all are worth repeated listenings."
One of my favorites
JfromJersey | Manalapan, NJ | 05/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When it comes to jazz cds my collection heavily favors the classic artists like Miles, Trane, Monk, and Mingus. But I would put this recording right up there with any of the heavyweights. Lovano's technique is superb and his range is impressive. Schuller's arrangements of some classic as well as original material is on a par with Gil Evans' collaborations with Miles. Particular favorites here are some of the ballads (Angel Eyes, a great Lovano tenor solo on Chelsea Bridge), and Schuller's "Lament for M" a poignant ode to his late wife. Superb."