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Rush Hour

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Audio CD, August 19, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This title is manufactured "on demand" when ordered from, using recordable media as authorized by the rights holder. Powered by CreateSpace, this on-demand program makes thousands of titles available that were previously unavailable. For reissued products, packaging may differ from original artwork.’s standard return policy will apply.

It's easy to understand why Joe Lovano is the most admired tenor saxophonist under the age of 50 in jazz today. The 43-year-old Cleveland native has the thick, burnished tone of swing giants such as Ben Webster and Lester Young, yet he is completely comfortable with the open structures and radical harmonics of such members of the vanguard as David Murray and Bill Frisell. In Lovano's playing, you can hear the essential unity of the jazz tradition. Seldom has that unity been illustrated with as much lucidity or feeling as on Lovano's Rush Hour, a brilliant album which should expand his following from critics and fellow musicians to a much wider audience. Rush Hour is an unusual album, for nine of the 13 tracks were arranged and conducted by Pulitzer Prize-winning classical composer Gunther Schuller. For four ballads, including Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss," Schuller backs Lovano with a jazz combo and a string orchestra which thickens the atmosphere without sweetening it. For four more vigorous works--including two extended Schuller compositions plus a movement from the Charles Mingus "Epitaph" symphony which Schuller resurrected--the conductor backs the saxophonist with a brass, reed, and woodwind orchestra which features some dazzling clusters of low-pitched clarinets and high-pitched saxophones. Coleman's ballad "Kathline Gray" is arranged as a jazz chamber piece for soprano sax, cello, harp, guitar, bass, and drums with gorgeous results. Lovano completed the album with three of his own compositions plus Billy Strayhorn's "Chelsea Bridge;" on these he multi-tracked various reeds and drums himself and added some truly adventurous scat singing by his wife Judy Silvano. In its perfect pairing of a major jazz voice and an uncommonly imaginative orchestrator, Rush Hour reminds one of nothing so much as Miles Davis's collaborations with Gil Evans. --Geoffrey Himes

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Prelude To A Kiss 3:58$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Peggy's Blue Skylight 3:32$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. Wildcat 2:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. Angel Eyes 5:09$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. Rush Hour On 23rd Street 8:53Album Only
  6. Crepuscule With Nellie 5:43$1.29  Buy MP3 
  7. Lament For M 5:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. Topsy Turvy 4:27$1.29  Buy MP3 
  9. The Love I Long For 3:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
10. Juniper's Garden 2:40$1.29  Buy MP3 
11. Kathline Gray 3:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
12. Headin' Out, Movin' In11:13Album Only
13. Chelsea Bridge 3:41$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 19, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • ASIN: B000005GXR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,304 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By JfromJersey on May 22, 2001
Format: Audio CD
When it comes to jazz cds my collection heavily favors the classic artists like Miles, Trane, Monk, and Mingus. But I would put this recording right up there with any of the heavyweights. Lovano's technique is superb and his range is impressive. Schuller's arrangements of some classic as well as original material is on a par with Gil Evans' collaborations with Miles. Particular favorites here are some of the ballads (Angel Eyes, a great Lovano tenor solo on Chelsea Bridge), and Schuller's "Lament for M" a poignant ode to his late wife. Superb.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
There is a great deal of variety on this album, with tunes from Monk, Mingus, Ellington, Coleman and a few standards and originals by Gunther Schuller and Lovano. The settings range from lush scoring for band and strings to Lovano alone. Gunther Schuller's "Rush Hour" is for me the highlight of this set- it's a frantic, 12-tone bop line with some fairly free solos. Also outstanding is the arrangement of Monk's "Crepuscule With Nellie" which manages to capture something of Monk's original quirkiness while still sounding new. This album has a lot to offer, and while some of the tracks are more accessible than others, all are worth repeated listenings.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Octave on October 24, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
CAVEAT: Note that if you order this disc "new" at full (expensive) price, you get a CDR. I got a used copy much cheaper, in perfect condition, and it was a REAL CD, not a CDR. Don't settle for inferior, impermanent format goods.

Third Stream it might be, at many points, but nostalgic it isn' isn't even nostalgic enough to jazz around with facile notions of ersatz avant-gardism. Made at the height of Lovano's powers and popularity, and in the midst of a fairly strong resurgence of popular interest in jazz, this might be one of the small handful of key Blue Note issues of the Nineties, and it's certainly one of the finest mainstream jazz recordings of that decade. Beautiful orchestration and lush recording. There might be more "playerly" small combo blowing dates from Lovano, but I tend to like these conceptual projects with somewhat larger to much larger groups. Lovano is a craftsman even above being an artist, and seems like he never had patience with simple self-aggrandizement (don't let the hats fool you!)...he has the professional's respect for collaborators, and this seems to be an enduring feature of his output for _decades_, however his fortunes/stock might rise or fall. He's a survivor, and a worker.)

[Incidentally, for the neophyte looking for small-combo blowing-intensive dates, FROM THE SOUL or maybe LANDMARKS seem to be early 90s consensus classics, and they are indeed hella good...and lots of people like his almost-chicken-shack quartet with guitarist and crossover sensation John Scofield, which also is very joyful and energetic music, definitely not sellout material----and for the more freeblowing and amorphous and folklike dimension, of course the amazing and longstanding Paul Motian trio with Bill Frisell...perhaps their MOTIAN IN TOKYO would be a smart start? Not sure, too many options there...]
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