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Double Bill: Mike Stern & Joe Lovano Outdoors at the J&R Music Festival in New York

Joe Lovano

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This week, we're at the 12th annual J&R Music Festival, for two artists in prime musical condition -- chops- and career-wise: Mike Stern and Joe Lovano. They perform back to back at the open-air festival in the summer of 2006 in New York City.

Guitarist Mike Stern has played sideman to both Miles Davis and the late Michael Brecker, and Stern's about to have a great run at the 2007 Montreal International Jazz Festival. He plays five consecutive nights there with musicians of his choice -- the Bad Plus and the Yellowjackets; Four Generations of Miles with George Coleman, Jimmy Cobb and Buster Williams; Mike Stern's Invitation Supergroup; Stern's Power Trio; and bassist Richard Bona with special guest Roy Hargrove on trumpet. On the sixth night, Mike Stern rests.

After Stern comes Joe Lovano. At Dizzy's Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Lovano played two-part sets for a week in May 2007. First, he had a duet with pianist Hank Jones, who'd recently had heart surgery. Jones' health has been a great concern and it was a triumph to have him back. Then Lovano led a six-horn section of top players for music from Birth of the Cool, the historic early Miles Davis LP, re-imagined on Lovano's own CD, Streams of Expression. Each one soloed like it was his last night on Earth, and that's the way Lovano likes it.

Whether at a club at the Lincoln Center, a theater at the Montreal Jazz Festival or outdoors in a noisy city where cars honk, busses screech and the wind threatens to blow it all away, there's no tamping down Joe Lovano or Mike Stern. They raise the bar, then meet their fans and sign copies of their albums, and then everybody stays for drummer Roy Haynes. He's coming next week on JazzSet.


Mike Stern Quartet
Mike Stern, guitar
Bob Franceschini, tenor sax
Janek Wizdala, bass
Richie Morales, drums

Joe Lovano, tenor
James Weidman, piano
Dennis Irwin, bass
Lewis Nash, drums


"Tumble Home" (Stern)
"Slow Change" (Stern)

"Birdseye View" (Lovano)
"Move" (Denzel Best)
"Viva Caruso" (Lovano)


Mike Stern
Joe Lovano

Thanks to Sue Bryan and Bob Huber of the J&R Music Festival.

Duke Markos is our mixer and technical director; Josh Jackson produced the broadcast. Dee Dee Bridgewater's recording engineer is Ginger Bruner at KUNV Jazz 91.5 in Las Vegas. Producer is Becca Pulliam; Executive Producer Thurston Briscoe III at WBGO Jazz 88 in Newark, N.J., and

Copyright 2007 NPR