Monday, January 7, 2013

Lovano's UsFive; Hunter's Duo - Bob Stewart

"Since I started to tour in the late '70s, I've collected instruments from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern and Western Europe and North and South America," says Joe Lovano, who, in addition to his instantly recognizable tenor sax, improvises on many other horns and an array of percussion. "I've spent a lifetime feeling the passion of experiencing the spirits in the sounds of the collective ancestors in these instruments, creating music but feeling like the earth. It's coming through in my compositions and in the way we play together." "Cross Culture" is Lovano's new disc of original material, the third consecutive by his critically acclaimed quintet, UsFive. Augmenting his core group of pianist James Weidman, bassists Esperanza Spalding and Peter Slavov and drummers Otis Brown III and Francesco Mela with the daring West African guitarist and vocalist Lionel Loueke, Lovano delivers his most full-realized representation of a career-long quest to explore the notion of universal musical language.

"Not Getting Behind Is the New Getting Ahead" is guitarist Charlie Hunter's new duo recording with drummer Scott Amendola. A complete departure from his solo CD of last year, and the previous year's disc which incorporated trombones and trumpet into Hunter's instrumental arsenal, the new release is his first recording of original compositions in three years. Recorded with Hunter and Amendola playing in the same room simultaneously-an old school recording method that has been virtually lost in today's cut-and-paste world-the new music was written by the guitarist while at home, inspired by his touring. "I love the nooks and crannies of the U.S., and this album is for the people living in these places."

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