Sunday, March 15, 2009

Gunther Schuller · Joe Lovano - Rush Hour (1994)

Let's now move into more musically challenging territory: Gunther Schuller (b.1925) is a towering figure in American music. He participated under his capacity as a horn player in Miles Davis' "Birth of the Cool" seminal 1949 sessions. He is a leading classical composer, critic and writer (his two-volume jazz history Early Jazz and The Swing Era are recommended reading to everyone interested in jazz music) and, most importantly, he is the first to come up with the idea of the Third Stream (a term he coined) whence all the experimentation of fusing classical and jazz elements came to life and groups like the Jazz Quartet emerged.

This superb 1994 date teams the talents of Schuller as arranger with the robust sound of Joe Lovano on tenor sax in an all-encompassing offering including meterial by Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Billy Strayhorn as well as originals by these two great musicians and was 1995 Down Beat Critics & Readers Poll Album of the Year, Grammy Nominee Best Large Ensemble (and deservedly so). This is music that speaks to the soul and the intellect, enjoy.


Joe Lovano - Tenor and Soprano Sax
Bass Clarinet, Drums, Arranger

Gunther Schuller - Arranger
Jack Walrath - Trumpet
David Taylor - Bass Trombone, Tuba
John Clark - French Horn
Richard Oatts - Flute, Tenor Sax
Ed Schuller - Bass
Mark Helias - Bass
George Schuller - Drums
James Chirillo - Guitars
Judi Silvano - Vocal

track listing:

1. Prelude to a Kiss (Ellington/Gordon/Mills)
2. Peggy's Blue Skylight (Mingus)
3. Wildcat (Lovano)
4. Angel Eyes (Brent/Dennis)
5. Rush Hour On 23rd Street (Schuller)
6. Crespuscle With Nellie (Monk)
7. Lament For M (Schuller)
8. Topsy Turvy (Lovano)
9. The Love I Long For (Duke)
10. Juniper's Garden (Lovano)
11. Kathline Gray (Coleman)
12. Headin' Out Movin' In (Schuller)
13. Chelsea Bridge (Strayhorn