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Joe Lovano

Tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano and pianist Hank Jones make for a perfect combination on this set of live duets. They had played together on an occasional basis for the two years prior to this project, collaborating on the Joyous Encounter recording. Jones has a timeless style that since 1944 has been a transitional approach between swing and bop. His two-handed playing makes it possible for him to be an entire rhythm section by himself, so one does not miss the bass and drums. Lovano, one of the most versatile of all saxophonists, fits easily into this format, coming across as a major modern swing stylist, paying respect to the melodies while also adding his own individual sound to the music. In addition to their duets, Jones has a pair of individual features (including "Oh! Look at Me Now!") and Lovano gets to stretch out a bit on the more boppish numbers. Although the team of Joe Lovano and the ageless Hank Jones was not inevitable, it has proven to be an ideal matchup between two giants of jazz. Recommended. This CD was nominated in 2007 for a Grammy award as Best Jazz Instrumental Album (Individual or Group,) and the improvisation by Jones on "Lullaby" was nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo. ~ Scott Yanow