Following its triumphant partnership with pianist Kenny Werner (Institute of Higher Learning), the award-winning Brussels Jazz Orchestra turns its attention to Joe Lovano, long heralded a towering soloist among tenor saxophonists. Wild Beauty illuminates the composer side of Lovano’s musicianship, featuring a palette of earthy tunes previously recorded with small groups, but now re-imagined for the 17-piece BJO. Gil Goldstein wrote the evocative arrangements.

The album is a summational work, filled with autobiographical abstractions. It draws its inspiration from Lovano’s generational bloodlines in Italy. “I’ve dedicated this project to my mom, Josephine Verzi Lovano,” he says. “ She was born and lived her life in Cleveland, but her heart and soul were with her Sicilian roots and her family. All these tunes are reflections of my life and experiences.”

Wild Beauty smolders with a warm glow, as if sculpted from the fiery ash at the base of Mt Etna (Europe’s largest active volcano and the source of the album’s penultimate track, “Miss Etna”). Lovano’s influences can be heard throughout – from Ben Webster to John Coltrane to Enrico Caruso. His passion is heard too, spurred by the spirited play of the BJO, no stranger to Lovano (who led numerous workshops with the Orchestra’s personnel over the years), and certainly no stranger to exceptional projects. In 2012 it earned an Academy Award for Best Original Film Score on behalf of “The Artist.” Led by saxophonist Frank Vaganee, the BJO is one of Europe’s strongest and most respected jazz aggregates.

Ultimately the power of Wild Beauty resides in its personalized narrative – a travelogue born from the collaborative synergy of Lovano, Goldstein and the Brussels Jazz Orchestra. Together they have crafted a special album.

Liner Notes by Joe Lovano
Arranged by Gil Goldstein

For further information on Joe Lovano, please visit www.joelovano.com. For further information on the Brussels Jazz Orchestra, please visit www.brusselsjazzorchestra.com.

1. Wild Beauty
2. Powerhouse
3. Streets of Naples
4. Our Daily Bread
5. Big Ben
6. Sanctuary Park
7. Miss Etna
8. Viva Caruso