Joe Lovano

Essential Albums

Artist Playlists

About Joe Lovano

This tenor saxophonist’s stately tone, beautiful playing, and cool command of a century’s worth of jazz idioms—especially bebop, post-bop, and free jazz—have made him one of the genre’s more popular and critically acclaimed figures. Born in Cleveland in 1952, Joe Lovano learned his trade at the feet of his father, tenor saxophonist Tony “Big T” Lovano. After graduating from the Berklee College of Music, Lovano played with Brother Jack McDuff, Lonnie Smith, and, after moving to New York, Mel Lewis’ big band. He began a long association with Paul Motian in the early ’80s, which included several sublime trio albums with Berklee classmate Bill Frisell, and released his solid solo debut, Tones Shapes & Colors, in 1985. Lovano found a longtime home on Blue Note with 1991’s Landmarks, eventually winning a Grammy for 2000’s bebop-nodding 52nd Street Themes. In more than 30 albums as leader, he has explored John Coltrane’s spiritual jazz, classical-influenced third-stream sounds, and even the lyrical majesty of another timeless tenor: Enrico Caruso. He pivoted to ECM’s expansive sonic vistas with 2019’s Trio Tapestry, featuring pianist Marilyn Crispell and drummer Carmen Castaldi.

Cleveland, OH, United States
December 29, 1952
Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada