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Joe Lovano Quartet steps in at the Iridium

The Iridium Jazz Club is one of my favorite jazz spots to hit while in New York. It has one of the best atmospheres for jazz as well as a fantastic menu. Originally scheduled to be performing on this Thursday night was the legendary Hank Jones Quartet featuring Joe Lovano. Sadly Hank Jones took ill and was not able to perform. In his place the Joe Lovano Quartet stepped in to please the crowd. The Lovano quartet featured, Joe Lovano on tenor saxophone, Jacky Terrasson on piano, George Mraz on bass, and Dennis Mackrell on drums.

These fine artists are all masters in their own right, but come together to be a part of a sensational set. Lovano came out blaring, displaying his big old tone on his tenor sax on the classic, "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise." Terrasson followed with his first solo, just tempting the rest of the group to keep up. I had not paid much attention to this young pianist before, but after experiencing him tonight, I will pay much closer attention in the future. Terrasson is quite the soloist and has made his mark in my jazz mind. As always, I am continually trying to expose non-jazz fans to the wonderful world of jazz. On this night I had brought along one of my non-jazz friends. Not knowing the first thing about jazz, even he maid a point to say, "That piano guy sure is good!"

The second song in this set was one of my personal favorites, McCoy Tyner’s "Aisha." Again, Lovano lead the group with great conviction and feelings of love in this song. Terrasson followed with his nimble fingers and heartfelt scat to accompany his solos.

In my book the top three all-time bass players are the late Ray Brown, Ray Drummond and George Mraz (not necessarily in that order). In this set, Mraz demonstrated him usual calm coolness to rhythm and timing. On Thad Jones’ "Suite for Pops" performed an intricate solo filled with dynamic fingering where he was able to work the entire fretboard and never loose the direction he was heading in.

On Thelonious Monk’s "Work", Terrasson again shines brightly, but they finally let Mackrell out of his cage and let him go to work and do his thing. The song is interlaced with Mackrell’s sporadic solos of improvisation and offbeats.

This group gave this packed Thursday night crowd a first set to keep them all coming back.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Joe Lovano Quartet
  • Concert Date: 11/21/2002
  • Venue: Iridium Jazz Club
  • City State Country: New York, NY, USA
Morrice Blackwell

Owner and publisher of, Morrice Blackwell is a christian husband dad jazz fan website developing marketing manager basketball playing engineer that lives for photography.

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