Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music.
Back in 1970, whilst browsing in my favorite used record store, i came across this album. Despite the ghastly sleeve art (not the cover pictured above), i turned it over and noticed "Sympathy" included in the track listings, a song i had heard many times on the radio in the office but had never really taken much notice of, despite it being a huge hit single. The photo of the band clinched it - in those days any strange album i found depicting "four hippies in a field / park / wood" was worth investigating as part of my "scene".
There is a very good reason why tenor and soprano, as well as sometime alto, saxophonist Joe Lovano is one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time. It’s because he has devoted his life to finding new ways to express improvised melodic conceptualizations, because his harmonic language continues to evolve and develop, and because he has found new means for elaborating on and breaking through rhythmic patterns. But mostly, because Lovano continues to practice and develop his instrumental technique, as well as develop his art in a ceaseless drive to find musical meaning in an ever evolving musical world. His inexhaustible drive for unattainable perfection is not only seen in a lifetime catalog of incredible recordings, but also, is well on display in Bird Songs.