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On 'Garden of Expression,' Joe Lovano's Trio Tapestry delves deeper into resonant lyricism and understated rhythms / Financial Times

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Financial Times Mike Hobart writes....Saxophonist Joe Lovano's sideman appearances for ECM label stretch back more than thirty years. For the most part, the American delivered the label's musical compass with the same gruff tone and rhythmic edge that marked his own-name recordings for Blue Note.

Here though, the saxophonist delves deeper into the resonant lyricism and understated rhythms that marked 2019's Trio Tapestry, his ECM debut as a leader. This follow-up release, a set of eight Lovano originals, was recorded later the same year. As before, Lovano clothes his floaty tenor sax phrases with the ethereal tonalities of Nordic jazz. Pianist Marilyn Crispell and drummer Carmen Castaldi weave ambient textures into a diffuse pulse.

"Garden of Expression", the album's ambitious title track, hangs contrasting moods on a repeated theme and "Dream on That" is the nearest thing to an up-tempo jaunt; Crispell introduces the dance-like theme, Lovano hints at Ornette Coleman at the end. Elsewhere, "Treasured Moments" and "The Sacred Chant" are suitably serene and the gong-adorned "Zen Like" is exactly that.

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