Joe Lovano, the tenor saxophonist, couldn't make it to the Village Vanguard this week. It was the beginning of an annual two-week stretch with the trio he's played in for 25 years, with the guitarist Bill Frisell and the drummer Paul Motian. But Mr. Lovano double-booked himself, so he had to be in Edinburgh, soloing with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. Two tenors, Tony Malaby and Mark Turner, are filling his spot. Not alternating, but simultaneously.
This isn't so much like what Miles Davis once saidsomething to the effect that one John Coltrane equals five other saxophonists. It's more that this group, with hundreds of tunes in its book, is special enough that a typical substitution for any of the three would feel a little disappointing. Better to give audiences a completely different experience.
Which, on Tuesday, it was. Go to the Vanguard next week, when Mr. Lovano comes back to town and picks up where the band left off last September. But make it a return trip, and don't miss what's happening there now.
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