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Joe Lovano’s Trio Fascination: The Moment of Now

July 29, 2017 @ 12:00 am - 2:00 am

“Most jazz musicians are flexible: it’s a philosophical requirement of the job….Joe Lovano is an extreme case, moving toward universality. Long ago he developed a tenor saxophone sound for his temperament. It rolls and smears and smokes, all width, rhythmic unto itself; it can fit in or accommodate. His starting place is bebop’s complex language, but he seems to be listening to something underneath language and style, something that could be well illustrated by jazz but isn’t specific to it. He’s good with a particular rhythm, or a structure, or a set of changes, but he doesn’t need any of it. And so an ideal Joe Lovano performance might be one that sounds good with New York’s advanced-harmony killer elite, but that could be effectively cut and pasted over a trap beat or a string quartet or scale exercises or traffic sounds.”

— Ben Ratliff, New York Times

Jazz at Atlas is greatly honored to present the legendary saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist, composer and bandleader Joe Lovano presenting his group Trio Fascination: The Moment of Now, an ensemble featuring Marilyn Crispell on piano and Carmen Castaldi on drums and percussion. Trio Fascination: The Moment of Now will perform on Friday, July 28 at Atlas Studios as part of the Jazz at Atlas program. General admission will be $20 at the door.

Joe Lovano is an American jazz saxophonist, alto clarinetist, flautist, and drummer. Since the late 1980s, Lovano has been one of the world’s premiere tenor saxophone players, described by critic Chris Kelsey of Allmusic as “the tenor titan for our times” and relentlessly creative and innovative, earning a Grammy Award and several mentions on Down Beat magazine’s critics’ and readers’ polls. He is married to jazz singer Judi Silvano with whom he records and performs. Lovano was a longtime member of a trio led by drummer Paul Motian. Lovano was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Sicilian-American parents; his father was the tenor saxophonist Tony (“Big T”) Lovano. His father’s family came from Alcara Li Fusi in Sicily, and his mother’s family came from Cesarò, also in Sicily. In Cleveland, Lovano’s father exposed him to jazz throughout his early life, teaching him the standards, as well as how to lead a gig, pace a set, and be versatile enough to always find work. Lovano started on alto at age six and switched to tenor five years later. John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, and Sonny Stitt were among his earlier influences. After graduating from Euclid High School in 1971, he went to Berklee College of Music, where he studied under Herb Pomeroy and Gary Burton. After Berklee he worked with Jack McDuff and Dr. Lonnie Smith. After three years with Woody Herman’s orchestra, Lovano moved to New York and began playing regularly with Mel Lewis’s Big Band. This influence is still present in his solos. He often plays lines that convey the rhythmic drive and punch of an entire horn section. In the early 1980s Lovano began working in John Scofield’s quartet and a bass-less trio with Paul Motian and Bill Frisell. Steeped in the tradition of Ornette Coleman, Motian’s recordings show off Lovano’s avant-garde abilities. Lovano’s Quartets: Live at the Village Vanguard, garnered a Down Beat “Jazz Album of the Year” award. Other releases include Trio Fascination and 52nd Street Themes. In the late 1990s, he formed the Saxophone Summit with Dave Liebman and Michael Brecker (later replaced by Ravi Coltrane). Lovano played the tenor saxophone on the 2007 McCoy Tyner album Quartet. In 2006 Lovano released Streams of Expression, a tribute to cool jazz and free jazz. He did this with the help of Gunther Schuller, who contributed his “Birth of the Cool Suite”. Lovano and pianist Hank Jones released an album together in June 2007, entitled Kids. In 2008 Lovano formed the quintet Us Five with rising star Esperanza Spalding on bass, pianist James Weidman formerly associated with Abbey Lincoln and the M-Base collective, and the two drummers Francisco Mela and Otis Brown III. Their initial album Folk Art was the first to comprise exclusively originals by Lovano, that the band was meant to interpret with intense interaction in the spirit of the avant-garde of the 1960s and the successive loft scene. Although the follow-up was not approached as such (according to Lovano), Bird Songs (2011) was a tribute to Charlie Parker. On Cross Culture, the third subsequent album by Us Five, released in 2013 on Blue Note, the quintet was augmented by West African guitarist Lionel Loueke. Lovano saw the occasion to play a variety of reed and percussion instruments he had been colleting since the late 1970s. “Ubergirl bassist” Spalding is replaced by Peter Slavov for six of the tracks, that were again all written by Lovano, with the exception of Billy Strayhorn’s “Star Crossed Lovers”. Lovano has been the teacher of Jeff Coffin after the latter received an NEA Jazz Studies Grant in 1991. He has held the Gary Burton Chair in Jazz Performance at Berklee College of Music. Lovano appears in Noah Buschel’s film The Missing Person in 2008, starring Amy Ryan and Michael Shannon. Lovano has played Borgani saxophones since 1991 and exclusively since 1999. He has his own series called Borgani-Lovano, which uses Pearl-Silver Alloy with Gold 24K keys.


Marilyn Crispell is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music where she studied classical piano and composition, and has been a resident of Woodstock, New York since 1977 when she came to study and teach at the Creative Music Studio. She discovered jazz through the music of John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor and other contemporary jazz players and composers. For ten years she was a member of the Anthony Braxton Quartet and the Reggie Workman Ensemble and has been a member of the Barry Guy New Orchestra and guest with his London Jazz Composers Orchestra, as well as a member of the Henry Grimes Trio, Quartet Noir (with Urs Leimgruber, Fritz Hauser and Joelle Leandre), and Anders Jormin’s Bortom Quintet. In 2005 she performed and recorded with the NOW Orchestra in Vancouver, Canada and in 2006 she was co-director of the Vancouver Creative Music Institute and a faculty member at the Banff Centre International Workshop in Jazz. In 2014 she led a three-week music residency at the Atlantic Center For the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and in 2016 led a one-week residency at the Conservatory Manuel de Falla in Buenos Aires. Besides working as a soloist and leader of her own groups, Crispell has performed and recorded extensively with well-known players on the American and international jazz scene. She’s also performed and recorded music by contemporary composers Robert Cogan, Pozzi Escot, John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, Manfred Niehaus and Anthony Davis (including four performances of his opera “X” with the New York City Opera). In addition to playing, she has taught improvisation workshops and given lecture/demonstrations at universities and art centers in the U.S., Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and has collaborated with videographers, filmmakers, dancers and poets. Crispell has been the recipient of three New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship grants (1988-1989, 1994-1995 and 2006-2007), a Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust composition commission (1988-1989), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2005-2006). In 1996 she was given an Outstanding Alumni Award by the New England Conservatory, and in 2004, was cited as being one of their 100 most outstanding alumni of the past 100 years.

Carmen Castaldi — Works:

Education: Berklee School of Music (Boston) 1970-74 Drums: Joe Hunt, Alan Dawson Mallets: Dave Samuels Arranging and Composition: Berklee Staff. Private studies (Cleveland) 1967-70 Drums: Ed Bobick, Bob McKee

Recorded “Viva Caruso” with Joe Lovano 2001 for Blue Note Records
World Tour:
-Maceo Jazz Festival, Brazil (1997) with Joe Lovano and Dennis Irwin.
-West Coast Tour with Joe Lovano and Cecil McBee (1997). Tour included the San Francisco Jazz Festival.
-Knitting Factory, New York (1997) with Joe Lovano and Kenny Werner.
-Village Vanguard, New York (1997) with the Joe Lovano’s large ensemble celebrating Sinatra.

Las Vegas, Nevada (1975-1986)
-Drummer for the Folie’s Bergeŕe, The Tropicana Hotel.
-Drummer for Keely Smith (1981-84).
-Drummer for Don Rickles (1981-84).
-Performed throughout Las Vegas with Monk Montgomery and Sam Most.
-Performed with Sonny Stitt at The Jazz at Hacienda Hotel

Los Angeles, California (1986-1984)
-Performances with Frank Strazzeri, Teddy Edwards, Bill Perkins, Dave Carpenter, Darek Oles, Jimmy Bruno, Tom Warrington, Herb Jefferies.
-Member of the Bob Gail Orchestra, performed throughout Los Angeles at major hotels and country clubs.
-Performed for the Governor’s Ball at the Academy Awards, Los Angeles (1991-93).
-Performance with Joe Lovano and Tim Hagans at the Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles, and The San Diego Jazz Festival
Cleveland, Ohio (1994-present)
-Performances with Bill DeArango, Ernie Krivda, Dave Sterner, Ron Bush, Dave Morgan, Matt Ray, Kenny Davis, Bob Fraser, Howie Smith, Chip Stevens, Dan Maire, Dan Wall, Peter Domiguez, James Moody, Jack Shantz, Dominick Farinacci.
-Performances with the Oblique Orchestra on the AllGoSigns One-Way series (2006–present). Performers included Dan Wenninger, Bill Nichols, Matthew Kiroff, Faith Chiang, Ed Stevens.
-Performances with The New Cleveland Trio (Jeremy Bleich and Joshua Smith) throughout Cleveland as well at The High Mayhem Music Festival, Santa Fe, New Mexico (2007-08)

Jazz at Atlas is a cooperative project of writer, musician and multimedia artist James Keepnews, and music researcher, radio host and producer Ben Young. Along with presenting performances by world-renowned creative musicians, JAA will also be offering listening sessions, dialogues with artists and classes covering the entire spectrum of creative music in all its varied manifestations around the world and throughout its history.


July 29, 2017
12:00 am - 2:00 am
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Atlas Studios


Jazz at Atlas
11 Spring St
Newburgh, NY 12550 United States
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