Joe Lovano has been one of the most noteworthy front line post bop tenor players on the scene for many years. I’m All For You is a break from the muscular blowing that he is known for and offers instead a glimpse of his tender side. This beautiful collection of ballads is at once delicate and infused with the focus, if not the fury, of the tenor giant’s past work. Sharing the date with the legendary pianist Hank Jones, bassist supreme George Mraz and former employer Paul Motian on drums and cymbals, Lovano injects heart and soul into a program of standards that delights from opening note to closing. The opening title cut, in addition to offering one of the most gorgeous Jones solos ever captured, highlights a breathy Lovano in a style reminiscent of a cross between Coltrane and Rollins playing off the changes to "Body and Soul." His work on "Don’t Blame Me" has a lilting quality, and on "Monk’s Mood" he is expressive and pensive. The standout piece on the collection is the gorgeous interpretation of Dizzy Gillespie’s "I Waited For You," on which all assembled meld with the lush melody. "Like Someone in Love," played in duet with Jones is certainly a magical moment, as well. "Earl Autumn," a piece from Lovano’s tenure with the Woody Herman Big Band, showcases the tenorist’s total command of the scale and the closing version of Coltrane’s "Countdown," played at a much mellower pace than the original, offers an interesting contrast between drums and piano versus tenor and bass. One of the finest ballad collections in recent years, this offers an all too briefly glimpsed aspect of the tenor player and ranks as one of the most important albums of his impressive catalog.
Artist / Group Name:Joe Lovano
CD Title:Im All For You
Genre:Straight-Ahead / Classic
Record Label:Blue Note
Tracks:I’m All For You, Don’t Blame Me, Monk’s Mood, The Summary, Stella By Starlight, I Waited For You, Like Someone In Love, Early Autumn, Countdown
Musicians:Joe Lovano (tenor saxophone); Hank Jones (piano); George Mraz (bass); Paul Motian (drums, cymbals)