Joe Lovano: Six and Four
Six And Four
Joe Lovano (tenor sax)
Joyous Encounter (Blue Note 63405)
Composed by Oliver Nelson.
Recorded: New York, September 8-9, 2004
Rating: 96/100 (learn more)
Although this CD's title comes from Joe Lovano's composition "Joyous Encounter," those words apply even more to the sheer fun the quartet has in performing Oliver Nelson's "Six and Four." Hank Jones probably brought this tune to Lovano's attention, seeing as how the pianist recorded it with his brothers Elvin and Thad back in 1961 (Elvin!), and again during his solo Maybeck Recital Hall program in 1991. By the time they recorded this version in 2004, Lovano, Jones, George Mraz and Paul Motian had a summer tour under their belts promoting the saxophonist's I'm All For You release, and the relaxed yet robust rapport they now shared more than ever as an interactive, dynamic unit is quite evident on this track.
That six-four beat is infectious right from the start, as Lovano intones the riff-obsessed theme. Motian and Mraz provide a persistently animated underpinning for Jones's prancing and bluesy opening solo. Lovano's gruff tone, slurred lines, and dissonant overtones and shrieks are key components of the leader's playful improv. He seamlessly segues back to Nelson's theme, concluding with an earthy exclamation that is answered by Motian's unbridled, free-form closing drum pattern.
Reviewer: Scott Albin