Joe Lovano – Bird Songs

With Bird Songs, saxman Joe Lovano doesn’t set out to chase after Charlie Parker. Instead, Lovano and his Us Five (with pianist James Wheidman, bassist Esperanza Spalding and drummers Francisco Mela and Otis Brown III) use Parker’s compositions as a springboard and go off in their own direction. “Passport” starts out with the original melody with Lovano plays a lyrical solo before heading into his blazing chops. With “Barbados,” the band replace the bebop rhythm with the Caribbean groove and yet still provide the space for Lovano to pour out his soul. Bird Songs is indeed a compelling reimagination of Parker’s music.