Album: Joe Lovano & US Five, Bird Songs (Blue Note)

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The Independent Culture

On his 22nd album for the label, and his second with this hot-to-trot, two-drummer band featuring Esperanza Spalding on bass, saxophonist Lovano confirms his status as the most consistently inventive soloist/leader in jazz.

It's an homage to Charlie Parker, but not, says Lovano, a tribute record. Rather, Parker's music is approached from a post-Coltrane, post-free jazz aesthetic, with the rhythmic edginess of bebop elided into an all-the-time-in-the-world fluidity. A masterpiece.