Passion, invention and blistering solos

April 08, 2014


Spring Quartet review Passion, invention and blistering solos By: John Fordham

Three of the recently formed Spring Quartet’s members drummer Jack DeJohnette, saxophonist Joe Lovano and bassist Esperanza Spalding are stars (the first two as long-time jazz heroes, Spalding as a Grammy-winning new talent with both a pop and a jazz following), and fourth member Leo Genovese, a fiery young world-jazz piano virtuoso, is close on their heels. But at the Barbican, they played like a group of gifted unknowns with nothing to lose, eschewing famous covers and standards, tersely punching out the themes as if impatient to get down to solo and collective improv. Their loose methods and wide references connect them with forebears including Miles Davis’s 1960s quintet and DeJohnette’s genre-crossing Special Edition groups of the 80s

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