Enrico Rava & Joe Lovano: Roma

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Supreme performer of Italian jazz, Enrico Rava has collaborated with American woodwind master Joe Lovano in creating a live album at Rome’s Auditorium Parco della Musica. The two front-line musicians lead an accomplished quintet performing a selection of covers and original compositions.

Before creating this live album, Rava and Lovano had rarely performed alongside each other. After being acquainted with one another through shared gigs with Miroslav Vitous and Tony Oxley, Rava and Lovano both agreed that there was an opportunity for brilliant music making. Lovano described Rava: “You could always hear that he had a great passion for the music of Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Art Farmer, Kenny Dorham and Dizzy Gillespie on one side – and for people like Don Cherry on the other side. And that openness and his huge passion about jazz really inspired me”. Vice versa, Rava said: “Joe is an absolute master and he plays with an incredible warmth”.

Treasured pieces loved by both Rava and Lovano make up the heart of the performance. Rava’s Interiors is a lethargic opener which Guidi then progresses into a free-flowing display of genius. In Secrets, Rava and Lovano have the freedom to express their inner capabilities with fine solos displaying post-bop language as well as spacious melodic fragments.

Compositions by Lovano also star in this live work. Fort Worth has plenty of freedom centred around a 24-bar blues and pays homage to Fort Worth inspirations Ornette Coleman and Dewey Redman. Divine Timing, written by Lovano especially for this ensemble, explores unique textures through free-flowing improvisation and an out-of-time metre. 

The album concludes with a medley of tracks from Lovano, Coltrane and Arlen. It begins with Lovano on the Hungarian tarogato which immediately draws the ear followed by a 3/4 modal feel, typical of Coltrane. The medley is brought to a sedate end as Guidi performs a graceful solo rendition of Over The Rainbow.  

Positively well balanced with avant-garde material and modal repertoire, this album will cater for even the niche jazz aficionado. A captivating way to celebrate Rava’s 80th birthday.

Discography
Interiors; Secrets; Fort Worth; Divine Timing; Drum Song/Spiritual/Over the Rainbow (66.14)
Rava (flh); Lovano (ts, tarogato); Giovanni Guidi (p); Dezron Douglas (db); Gerald Cleaver (d). Sala Sinopoli, Auditorium Parco Della Musica, Rome. November 2018.
ECM 774 2428