Lovano Comes Home to Nighttown

Joe Lovano with pianist James Weidman at 2013 Tri-C JazzFest

Cold (i.e., normal) temps are coming back to Cleveland this week, but fear not, Nighttown is staging a two-night stand by native son Joe Lovano that should more than warm the jazz cockles. Lovano is playing two shows (8 p.m. & 10 p.m.) Thursday and Friday with longtime cohort Kenny Werner on piano. The duo played a set during Lovano’s six-day residency at The Stone in New York in December. But the Nighttown gigs should be an interesting departure for those who have been listening only to the saxophonist’s recent recorded output. Early 2013 brought the excellent Cross Culture from Lovan’s Us Five band, a group notable for, among other things, its dual-drummer format. A few months back Lovano was featured on the Wild Beauty release from the Brussels Jazz Orchestra. What I’m getting at is that Lovano of late has largely been focused on expanding textures and layers, not stripping them away (again, at least on his recordings). Thursday and Friday we’ll get him wide open, in free conversation with an old friend who just so happens to be a master jazz musician himself. I’m guessing it’ll be worth leaning in for a listen.