Jazz: Poor Elvis, he never stood a chance
JOE LOVANO/ JOSHUA REDMAN BARBICAN, LONDON
Monday 16 November 1998
This was a double bill made in jazz heaven. Joe Lovano is the hefty and robust figure between the gravelly, angular tenor on all those lovely John Scofield records. As a band leader, he set London's Ronnie Scott's club alight earlier in the year with a residency that few present will forget. Joshua Redman - son of Sixties Free Jazz saxophonist Dewey Redman - was destined to become a jazz star. Add the name to a lithe, sinewy tone, doe-eyed good looks and a penchant for bluesy, accessible note-picking and you get as close as this minority music can to an A&R wet room.
Lovano was on first. It's a rare musical presence that can give the cavernous Barbican Hall such an electric atmosphere, but from the very first, complicated headlong tumble of notes, it was clear that Lovano's repertoire is built upon granite foundations.
His hour-long set was on a constant knife-edge of drama -- drummer Idris Muhamed's tricky stop-start pulse providing a nervy backdrop to Lovano's wired style. There was a gorgeous ballad (in which Lovano seemed to nod to swing roots - Al Cohn and Zoot Sims), and some intense work on the unusual alto clarinet. But Lovano was all about spontaneity and the joys of improvisation, and he could have kept us transfixed all night.
Not even Elvis Presley, live at the Barbican with news from Lord Lucan and Princess Diana, could have followed Lovano with ease. Joshua Redman made a surprisingly game attempt, relying less on his usual soulfulness and grace, and working up the Barbican audience with circular breathing, a cathedral reverb, and throwing in the odd brutal drum solo to make the auditorium's monkey contingent scream.
It was a slick and well rehearsed quartet, reworking standards (a Joni Mitchell tune and "Love for Sale", split cleverly into seven and six time). Pianist Aaron Goldberg played a heroic solo on "Eleanor Rigby", after Redman had picked up a soprano sax and turned the performance into something consciously reminiscent of the Coltrane Quartet. All exciting enough, but it will be Lovano who will be best remembered in the morning.
sportLiverpool 5 Norwich City 1: Uruguayan striker has now scored 11 league goals against the club
arts + entsOlivier-nominated actor and singer is set to star in Lloyd Webber's musical about the Profumo affair
filmWith more than 70 per cent of early films lost, archivists are scouring the world to preserve the precious examples that remain
sportThe coach of Chalfont St Peter's under-10s football team was relieved of his duties after he sent an email to parents that said: 'I am only interested in winning'
techA piece of new hi-tech kit aims to get us scribbling again
indybestMake getting out of the wrong side of bed on cold winter mornings a thing of the past with our selection of night-time covers
life + styleClarissa Baldwin is the brains behind the slogan 'A Dog is for Life not just for Christmas'
Arts & Ents blogs
The 50 Best Christmas songs: Bells continue to ring for the Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York'
Shia LaBeouf's Nymphomaniac sex scene removed from YouTube
Eminem, Drake and Jay Z among Spotify's most-streamed artists of 2013
Morgan Freeman portrait: The world's most realistic finger painting?
Nymphomaniac trailer shown to children at screening of Disney film Frozen
- 1 North Korea: Kim Jong Un 'sacks powerful uncle and has his aides executed'
- 2 The hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are 'better at map reading'
- 3 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 4 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 5 ‘Put it in my mouth’: Viewers outraged by apparent reference to oral sex in VIP e-cig advert