Lucas Pino – Covers (ENG review)

Outside In Music - Street date October 20th 2023
Lucas Pino – Covers (ENG review)

Undoubtedly, you may already be familiar with the name Lucas Pino. You may have heard him on Bayou Blue Radio over the years or seen him on stage alongside fantastic artists such as Dave Brubeck, Christian McBride, and Takuya Kuroda. Pino is acclaimed as a modern master in the world of contemporary jazz composition and arrangements.
We had been eagerly awaiting this album, as it’s the first time he’s performing with his quartet. The result lives up to our expectations—a delicate album with sumptuous arrangements that doesn’t aim to impress. What more can you ask for? Lucas Pino’s saxophone sound remains as impressive as ever. “Covers” is quite different from his previous albums, likely more personal, pushing the boundaries of his sonic and rhythmic explorations beyond his usual style. “Covers” features Pino’s exceptional arrangements for the repertoire composed by his friends and heroes. He is joined in this powerful endeavor by guitarist Alex Goodman, bassist Rick Rosato, and drummer Allan Mednard.
Reinterpreting the repertoire of other musicians is an integral part of the jazz art form’s history. While jazz musicians continue to innovate within the framework of the great American songbook standards, it seems that artists who take on the work of their contemporaries have become somewhat of a lost art. “Playing someone else’s music offers an interesting musical prism for the listener and an exciting, sometimes challenging starting point for the artist,” reflects Pino. On “Covers,” Pino brings his muscular sound to pieces composed by artists like Toninho Horta, Peter Schlamb, and Alex LoRe.
Lucas Pino is right, especially in the current landscape of pure creation, not all artists have the ability to deliver high-quality compositions. Pino possesses the capacity to offer compositions of a very high standard and to skillfully appropriate the repertoire of his predecessors, a talent that is not granted to everyone.
“Covers” is a surprising album, combining classic jazz with a modern approach to interpretation. Pino is undoubtedly one of the most impressive artists of the 21st century, carrying a piece of jazz history with him to offer it to younger generations and captivate an already loyal audience. Pino had to face a major career and life change during the COVID pandemic. He states, “The pandemic halted our live performances, and my wife [saxophonist Roxy Coss] and I decided to take this break to have a child. After the birth of our daughter, I felt a different purpose in making art and music. Right now, I don’t feel the need to control what happens in the music as much. I’m more interested in letting the music happen and embracing the idea that perfection is the enemy of the good.”
“Covers” is the kind of album that flows particularly smoothly. From the first note, you feel at ease and remain engaged throughout. It’s so immersive that the eight tracks on this album pass by incredibly quickly, leaving you wanting more. An “essential” release according to the editors of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move, and when you love something, you don’t count the number of essential albums.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, October 16th 2023


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