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Matthew Ruddick

Author of Funny Valentine, an acclaimed new biography of the jazz trumpet player and singer, Chet Baker.
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Saturday, 29 August 2020 17:28

Enrico Rava and Joe Lovano - Roma

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Extended tracks - extended joy.

With just five tracks, Roma from Enrico Rava and Joe Lovano provides plenty of quality listening - live tracks that draw you in and delight with their intricacy.

Italian trumpeter Rava joins with US tenor saxist Lovano at Rome’s Auditorium Parco della Musica to front a virtuosic quintet with Giovanni Guidi on piano, drummer Gerald Cleaver and bass from Dezron Douglas. This is a live CD that reminds us all - in these times of lockdown from the coronavirus - how much there is to love about music performed on a stage in front of an audience.

Rava’s flugelhorn truly sings in the Sala Sinopoli, often weaving intricate lines with Lovano’s sax or tarogato. The first two tracks - Interiors and Secrets - are both his, before the quintet move onto Lovano’s Fort Worth and Divine Timing. Both musicians compose with all the beauty of their performances. There’s something between a battle and a conversation, particularly in the fast-paced Fort Worth, with a dexterity obvious on all sides.

The final track develops into an extensive medley that includes Lovano’s tarogato on his original Drum Song, John Coltrane’s Spiritual and a gorgeous ending with Guidi’s piano and the standard Over The Rainbow

“They all listen and react to each other in a very beautiful manner,” says Lovano. “Giovanni Guidi is a very free player who often surprises us in a very stimulating way with his ideas. Dezron Douglas is a really serious strong bass player who acts with a thunderous bass approach, a driving force. And Gerald Cleaver is a very swinging drummer with a lot of propulsive and contrasting elements in his style that really support the way Giovanni and Dezron play. That rhythm section has a truly flowing, exploratory way of playing together.”

With the stunning creativity of both Rava and Lovano alongside such an accomplished rhythm section, this is a truly wonderful album that illustrates some of the finest jazz, performed in front of an appreciative audience.


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