Peter Jessen invented the mezzo saxophone for Benjamin Koppel and it didn’t take long for Joe Lovano to hear about it and order one for himself. This became the basis for this album at Summer Jazz 2015. Joe Lovano and Benjamin Koppel brought their custom made instruments to the stage with Kenny Werner on piano, Johnathan Blake on drums and Scott Colley on bass and this is where The Mezzo Sax Encounter was born.
It truly is a unique piece of music, two rare instruments coming together in true harmony. The two men know the instrument inside out, quite literally, and this tells. With only 7 of these Mezzo Saxophones in existence, it’s a great fortune that we’ve been able to listen to the harmony of two at once.
The album is filled with gems, but most notably the playful nature of Ettenro gives the impression the two saxophones are embroiled in a game of tag as they chase each other between bars.