I’m All For You
(Blue Note – 2004)
by Paula Edelstein
Joe Lovano’s musical ideas don’t stop coming as evidenced by the many accolades and awards he has earned over the years as a jazz saxophonist . Lovano has been a member of and performed with such great ensembles as the Mel Lewis Orchestra, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Paul Motian Trio, Charlie Haden, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Dave Holland among others. I’m All For You is his 16th Blue Note record and it provides his listeners with a fresh perspective to such ballads as the title track, “Monk’s Mood,” “I Waited For You,” and “Early Autumn.” Joe is feeling all the possibilities in the rhythms, shows a different tenor attitude and approach to his sound and delivery and receiving excellent accompaniment from pianist Hank Jones, bassist George Mraz and drummer Paul Motian.
The set opens with “I’m All For You,” which Lovano has based on the harmonies of “Body and Soul.” “The Summary” is the middle section of “The Suite For Pops” – a composition Lovano often played with the Mel Lewis Orchestra. It focuses on the strong melodic content and leaves lots of room for the stellar improvisations. “I Waited For You,” has Joe blowing on the down low in burnished, haunting tones. The set closes with “Countdown,” a song that John Coltrane played at breakneck tempo. In contrast, Lovano offers his listeners a slower tempo and Hank Jones’ conception of rhythm and harmony with Motian featured in open dialogue, trading with the tenor. Hank Jones and Paul Motian played in a quarter note feeling with George and Lovano improvising in a 12/8 feel against that. This is definitely great music; music that shows growth, depth, range and is filled with deep emotional expression and passion.