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Trio Fascination, Edition One (1998)


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Dave Holland

Whether embracing Gunther Schuller's arrangements or paying tribute to Frank Sinatra, Joe Lovano was as consistent as he was unpredictable in the 1990s. Most of his Blue Note output was excellent, and Trio Fascination, Edition One is no exception. This impressive inside/outside date finds Lovano forming a pianoless trio with bassist Dave Holland and drummer Elvin Jones, and the three are very much in sync on originals that range from the dusky "Sanctuary Park" and the haunting "Studio Rivbea" to the very angular "New York Fascination" and the difficult "Cymbalism." Meanwhile, "Impressionistic" is an eerie number with Middle Eastern overtones. The only song on the CD that isn't an original is a very personal interpretation of the standard "(I Don't Stand A) Ghost of a Chance." Heard on tenor, alto and soprano, the saxophonist never fails to command our attention on this consistently heartfelt and captivating release. ~ Alex Henderson