Joe Lovano: Viva Caruso

Joe Lovano: Viva Caruso

by Joe Lovano
     
 
Celebrating Sinatra's set of Manny Albam arrangements ruminated on a constant musical presence in the soundtrack of Lovano's youth. On his 13th Blue Note album, Lovano hearkens back to deeper ancestral roots with Viva Caruso, a lyric homage to the songbook of legendary Italian operatic tenor Enrico Caruso, the first million-selling recording artist of

Overview

Celebrating Sinatra's set of Manny Albam arrangements ruminated on a constant musical presence in the soundtrack of Lovano's youth. On his 13th Blue Note album, Lovano hearkens back to deeper ancestral roots with Viva Caruso, a lyric homage to the songbook of legendary Italian operatic tenor Enrico Caruso, the first million-selling recording artist of the 20th century. It's a match made in heaven. The program consists of the popular songs and vernacular themes of Italy, operatic suites, and three adventurous, inspired originals. Deploying deft, subtle arrangements by Byron Olson for classical chamber ensemble and small orchestra, and occasionally blowing in front of a small jazz group propelled by drummer Joey Baron, Lovano profoundly reimagines the sublime melodies, accessing a novelistic range of emotions and ideas without a trace of bathos or kitsch. Having attained the age of 50, Lovano seems incapable of blowing a false note; Viva Caruso is a masterpiece.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Collar
Viva Caruso is easily one of tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano's most ambitious and enjoyable recordings. Much like Terence Blanchard's Jazz in Film or Uri Caine's Urlicht/Primal Light, Viva Caruso finds the reedman adapting orchestral melodies and harmonies to a jazz format. Inspired after reading a biography about Italian tenor and opera legend Enrico Caruso, Lovano spent most of 2000 through 2001 researching Caruso's music and developing this project. There is a progressive, third stream appeal to Viva Caruso, with the various instruments laying down intricate counter-melodies and liquid, pulsating rhythms. For example, "Vesto La Giubba" from Pagliacci is slowed down here into a kind of folk-jazz meditation, not unlike something Dave Douglas' Tiny Bell Trio might do. Likewise, "Campane a Sera" features a pretty flute introduction to a very mid-'50s, Stan Kenton-style arrangement, and Gerald Wilson could very easily have scored "Soltano a Te" with its characteristically West Coast, neo-phonic horn sounds. Not wanting to merely focus on the arias Caruso is famous for, Lovano reworks many of the songs the singer recorded that are compiled on the Nimbus CD Caruso in Song. Most of these sides were originally arranged with a small wind ensemble, a format which Lovano employs on the original composition "Streets of Naples," a street party-like tango featuring accordion accents. One of the real revelations on the album is how comfortably much of Caruso's popular oeuvre adjusts to jazz improvisation. "Santa Lucia," with its tropical-island carnival atmosphere, features Lovano in a tenor, bass, and drum format reminiscent of Saxophone Colossus-era Sonny Rollins. Similarly, the spirit of Joe Henderson permeates the airy and lithe "O Sole Mio."
Entertainment Weekly
A heartfelt and creative reimagining of beautiful melodies
Absolute Sound
More than anything, Viva Caruso exemplifies and, in some ways, ennobles Lovano's fondness for fashioning thick, multi-layered concoctions...with juicy harmonies, fresh-and-zesty thematic lines and tonal seasonings delicately applied in order to surprise the palate.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/23/2002
Label:
Blue Note Records
UPC:
0724353598624
catalogNumber:
35986

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Joe Lovano   Primary Artist,Reeds,Tenor Saxophone,Mouthpiece
Gil Goldstein   Accordion
Herb Robertson   Trumpet
John Clark   French Horn
Joey Baron   Drums
Ed Schuller   Bass
Jamey Haddad   Mazhar
Scott Lee   Bass,Upright Bass
Dick Oatts   Flute
Byron Olson   Conductor
Michael Rabinowitz   Bassoon
Charles Russo   Bass Clarinet
Gary Valente   Trombone
Michael Bocian   Acoustic Guitar
Bob Meyer   Percussion,Drums,Mallets
Judi Silvano   Flute,Vocals,Voices
Billy Drewes   Clarinet
Helen Campo   Flute
Tom Christianson   English Horn,Oboe
Byron Olsen   Conductor

Technical Credits

Joe Lovano   Arranger,Producer,Orchestration
James Farber   Engineer
Will Friedwald   Liner Notes
Byron Olson   Arranger,Orchestration
Jessica Novod   Art Direction
Henry Geehl   Composer
Jessica Novod Berenblat   Art Direction
P.J. O'Reilly   Composer
Byron Olsen   Arranger
James A. Farber   Engineer

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