Born and raised in the Greater Cleveland area, Joe Lovano has been one of the most recognizable tenor saxophone players in jazz for the last twenty years. His versatile playing style has placed him in many unique situations from the basic jazz quartet to duos, nonets, and big bands. His series of recordings for Blue Note Records have won awards from Downbeat magazine and his 52nd Street Themes was nominated for a Grammy in 2006. He has periodically returned to Cleveland to share his talent and play tribute to his roots.
Joe Lovano was born in Cleveland on December 29, 1952. His father Tony "Big T" Lovano was a barber who also played tenor sax in many Cleveland clubs from the 1940s working with many local musicians including Tadd Dameron when he was in town. From 1971-72 Joe Lovano attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston where he met Bill Frisell, John Scofield and Kenny Werner. He returned to Cleveland working with local groups at the Smiling Dog Saloon and other clubs; he also worked and recorded with Lonnie Smith and Brother Jack McDuff. In the late 70s he worked with big bands including Woody Herman and in 1980 Mel Lewis. In the 1980s he began working with the Paul Motian Trio and also worked with Carla Bley, Elvin Jones, Charlie Haden, and John Scofield. From this time he also led many different types of groups, some including his wife Judy Silvano on vocals. Lovano has worked with Gunther Schuller, paid tribute to Frank Sinatra and Enrico Caruso, lead a nonet in a tribute to his bebop roots including standards by Tadd Dameron, and also worked in duos, trios, and quartets with a variety of musicians including Tim Hagans, Tom Harrell, Greg Osby, Joshua Redman, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Dennis Irwin, and Lewis Nash. He has recently enjoyed a wonderful partnership with the pianist Hank Jones.
Lovano is a versatile player who is able to play well in almost any setting. He has digested the influences of Ben Webster, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and others to develop his own characteristic approach to jazz improvisation.
CDs [located in the JAZZ section of the CD room on the third floor of the Main Library]
Hometown Sessions. JSL: 0001, 1986, c1999.
From the Soul. Blue Note: 98636, c1992.
Quartets: Live at the Village Vanguard. Blue Note: 91252, 2CD set, 1994-95, c1995.
Rush Hour. Blue Note: 29269, 1994, c1995. [With Gunther Schuller]
Flying Colors. Blue Note: 56092, 1997, c1998. [With Gonzalo Rubalcaba]
Trio Fascination: Edition One. Blue Note: 33114, 1997, c1998.
Friendly Fire. Blue Note: 99125, c1999.
Nonet: 52nd Street Themes. Blue Note: 96667, 1999, c2000.
Flights of Fancy: Trio Fascination: Edition Two. Blue Note: 27618, 2000, c2001.
Viva Caruso. Blue Note: 35986, c2002.
On This Day ... at the Vanguard. Blue Note: 43277, 2002, c2003.
I'm All for You. Blue Note: 91950, 2003, c2004. [With Hank Jones]
Joyous Encounter. Blue Note: 63405, 2004, c2005. [With Hank Jones]
Streams of Expression. Blue Note: 41092, 2005, c2006.
Joe Lovano/Hank Jones. Kids. Blue Note: 70281, 2006, c2007.
John Scofield: What We Do. Blue Note: 99586, 1992, c1993.
Paul Motian: Sound of Love: The Paul Motian Trio Live at the Village Vanguard. Winter & Winter: 910 008-2, 1995, c1997.
Paul Motian: Time and Time Again. ECM: 1992, c2007.
McCoy Tyner: McCoy Tyner Quartet. HalfNote: 4533, 2006, c2007.
Balliett, Whitney. Collected Works: a Journal of Jazz 1954-2000. St. Martin's, 2000. pp. 829-831. [ML3506 .B337 2000]
Giddins, Gary. Weather Bird: Jazz at the Dawn of Its Second Century. Oxford, 2004. [ML3507 .G53 2004]
Mandel, Howard. Future Jazz. Oxford, 1999. pp. 119-125. [ML3506 .M33 1999]
Morganstern, Dan. Living with Jazz: a Reader. Pantheon, 2004. pp. 403-406. [ML3507 .M67 2004]
Mosbrook, Joe. Cleveland Jazz History. 2nd ed. Northeast Ohio Jazz Society, 2003. pp. 202-206. [ML3508.C6 M67 2003]
Kynaston, Trent P. Jazz Tenor Solos: Joe Lovano. Corybant, 1991.
Joe Lovano: Artist Transcriptions: Saxophone. Hal Leonard, 1995. [M106.L68 J63 1995]
Improvisation: Developing a Personal Approach. Berklee Press/Hal Leonard, 2003.