Monday, October 6, 2008

Jazz Legends in Manila, October 16

Their names may not ring as loud a bell in the Philippines as say Earl Klugh's or Kenny G's, but their music has struck a chord with many die-hard jazz enthusiasts around the world. And the two legends will be here in Manila on October 16 for an intimate musical affair.

John Scofield is considered one of the "big three" along with Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell among the current crop of jazz guitarists. He is a master at improvisation, with a distinct style that sits comfortably between post bop, funk-edged jazz, and R&B.

Inspired by rock and blues players, Scofield picked up his first guitar at age 11, and eventually attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. After recording and touring with such heavyweights as Chet Baker, George Duke and Charles Mingus, Scofield joined Miles Davis, planting himself securely in the foreground of jazz consciousness as a composer and instrumentalist.

Today, aside from touring with his own group for most parts of the year, he is an Adjunct Professor of Music at New York University.

Born to family of brass blowers, Joe Lovano's exposure to jazz and the saxophone was early and constant. He began playing the alto sax at 5, switching to a tenor a few years later. At 16, he began working professionally as a musician, playing the clubs (often substituting for his dad) and performing with Motown cover bands. He eventually got to save enough to get himself through college also at Berklee.

After years of jamming and recording in the U.S. and Europe with some of the most gifted artists on the planet, Lovano met vocalist and dancer Judi Silvano, with whom he would make a lasting collaboration (today, they live together in upstate New York). He says, "Judi's sound, in particular, influenced ideas and feelings that were instrumental in opening up my concept about an ensemble sound that includes voice. I feel it gives my music a very organic, alive, human quality."

It was in 1989, however, when Lovano's next high profile gig would bring him more national and international attention--and that was with John Scofield's Quartet.

It has been many years since Scofield and Lovano have discovered each other's special brand of jazz, and they are rediscovering each other with their current tour of Asia and the Pacific. Following shows in Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore and Bangkok, the two jazz legends will find themselves at the Rockwell tent in Manila for a one-night concert, dubbed PRELUDE TO A FEST, that promises to be a stirring musical event. Showtime begins at 9pm, and tickets are priced at Php 1287.50. Call Ticketworld at (632) 891-9999 for tickets, or visit their site here: PRELUDE TO A FEST. After Manila, they will move on to Australia and New Zealand.

In between his hectic touring schedule, Scofield is producing his album of "old-time gospel" tunes, which the artist feels ought to be heard beyond church doors. Meanwhile, Lovano's highly-acclaimed album KIDS, produced last year, is still out in the market (but hard to find in Manila).

To get a sample of their music, view below two videos. The first is a performance on Jay Leno by John Scofield with John Mayer. The second is of Joe Lovano with Hank Jones on the keys.

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