Album: Joe Lovano US Five, Cross Culture (Blue Note)

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The Independent Culture

Saxophonist Lovano's third album with his two-drummer quintet is a very mixed affair.

The opening "Blessings in May" is a boppish tour de force, and there's a lovely, Ben Webster-style breathy version of Billy Strayhorn's "Star Crossed Lovers". But some tracks, such as the enormously annoying "The Spin", or "Journey Within", both featuring guest guitarist Lionel Loueke, are little more than repetitive patterns: all ground and no figure.