Cross Culture (album)

Cross Culture is the twenty-third studio album by American musician Joe Lovano and the third with his band Us Five. It was released in January 2013 under Blue Note Records to a favorable critical reception. On Metacritic, the album scored 71% on five reviews, which means "generally favorable reviews".[5]

Cross Culture
Studio album by
Joe Lovano Us Five
ReleasedJanuary 8, 2013 (2013-01-08)
RecordedJanuary 12–15, 2012
StudioSear Sound, NYC
GenreJazz, post-bop
LabelBlue Note
ProducerJoe Lovano
Joe Lovano Us Five chronology
Bird Songs
Cross Culture
Sound Prints
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
The Guardian[4]


John Fordham, writing for The Guardian, stated: "Saxophonist Joe Lovano's vast experience gives him a profound awareness of what jazz has been, and feeds a fertile imagination for what it can be. Cross Culture is more or less the two-drummers band that made the excellent Bird Songs in 2011—with Esperanza Spalding putting in a bass appearance, and gifted west African guitarist Lionel Loueke guesting—in a session celebrating idioms and instruments from all over the world".[6]

Ben Ratliff and Jon Caramanica of The New York Times wrote "The record isn’t making any kind of argument on behalf of free improvising. Mr. Lovano isn’t partisan like that. There’s a gold-star version here of one of jazz’s most elegant ballad standards, Billy Strayhorn’s “Star Crossed Lovers,” with rustling free rhythm at the beginning and end and easy swing in the middle. Mr. Lovano’s performance is a knockout. Both he and Mr. Weidman play with care and attention to the song’s changes; Ms. Spalding plays a melodic, songlike bass solo. But right after that comes a runic, short-melody, Paul Motian-inspired piece called “Journey Within,” and then “Drum Chant,” a raw and generous jam session that at a little over four minutes feels too long. “Cross Culture” covers the bases, showing you all it can do, though surely not out of a desire to impress. It’s a record with very little anxiety."[7]

Track list

All compositions written by Joe Lovano, except "Star Crossed Lovers" written by Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington.

1."Blessings in May"6:18
2."Myths and Legends"4:59
3."Cross Culture"6:35
4."In a Spin"4:29
5."Star Crossed Lovers"7:34
6."Journey Within"5:41
7."Drum Chant"4:21
8."Golden Horn"5:17
9."Royal Roost"5:54
10."Modern Man"2:43


  • Joe Lovano – tenor and G mezzo-soprano saxophone, aulochrome, tárogató, oborom drum, gongs, shakers, puddle drums
  • James Weidman – piano
  • Lionel Loueke – guitar (tracks: 2 3 4 6 7 11)
  • Esperanza Spalding – bass (tracks: 1 5 8 10)
  • Peter Slavov – bass (tracks: 2 3 4 8 9 11)
  • Otis Brown III – drums
  • Francisco Mela – drums, balafon, whistle


  1. "Cross Culture Reviews". Retrieved 2013-07-19.
  2. Collar, Matt. "Cross Culture - Joe Lovano". Retrieved 2013-07-19.
  3. Layman, Will (2013-02-20). "Joe Lovano: Cross Culture". Retrieved 2013-07-19.
  4. John, Fordham (21 February 2013). "Joe Lovano Us Five: Cross Culture – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  5. "Cross Culture Reviews". Retrieved 2013-07-19.
  6. John, Fordham (21 February 2013). "Joe Lovano Us Five: Cross Culture – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  7. CARAMANICA, JON; RATLIFF, BEN (January 7, 2013). "New Albums by Joe Lovano Us Five and Chris Tomlin". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
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