Dave Liebman, on two very different recordings, shows himself to be both a master of his instruments and a sonic explorer of the deepest intensity. Of course, this is no new revelationfrom his work with Miles Davis and Elvin Jones to his own often brilliant recordings, he has played with expanding the role of the reed instruments in jazz by caring an awful lot about sound. "Different but the same might be said of all his playingit's in and out of the tradition.
David LiebmanPicture ShowPM
2005 Picture Show
is a 1985 solo effortLiebman plays all the saxophones and flutes plus piano, synthesizer and percussion. It's a study of a world of music and soundand takes in colors from other cultures and even digs into some rock and roll. (He played with Miles when the trumpeter was exploring that world as well.) The music is challenging and often dissonant but never any less than fascinating. It takes an artist to pull off this kind of bold experiment and Liebman lives up to that role. There's enough color and humor here to keep the project from pretension and the pieces are all short so there's little chance of the disc wearing out its welcome. Note how on "Blues 'n' Dues and "Rock Around the Clock he finds new routes to roots.
David Liebman/Ellery EskelinDifferent but the SamehatHUT
In Ellery Eskelin, Liebman has found a like- minded partner who also goes his own way. Here we have the classic two-tenor formatthink Coltrane and Rollins or Griff and Lockjawbut this record stretches the notion of what those pairings achieved. And Dave and Ellery have the good fortune to be supported rhythmically by two equally adventurous soulsTony Marino on bass and Jim Black on drumswho are happy to follow and complement the leaders' wanderings. The players here have each contributed originals but the surprises emerge mostly on more "standard material. Of special note are: the airy yet robust takes on themes that come out of Cole Porter's "What is This Thing Called Love , Lee Konitz' "Subconscious-Lee , Tadd Dameron's "Hot House and then the Porter original; and in the delicate yet powerful reading of Wayne Shorter's "Vonetta .
"Liebman and Eskelin often sound the same, Dave says. "I can't always tell the difference myself. But on this recording they also display their strong, individual personalities. Picture Show
Personnel: Dave Liebman: saxophones, flutes, piano, synthesizer, percussionDifferent but the Same
Tracks: 1 Listen Now! Tie Those Laces Liebman 6:45; 2 Listen Now! Gnid Dameron 7:23; 3 Listen Now! You Call It Eskelin 7:47; 4 Listen Now! Different But Same Liebman 6:46; 5 Listen Now! What Is This Thing: Subconscious-Lee/Hot House/What Is This Thing Calle Dameron, Konitz, Porter 5:43; 6 Listen Now! How Do I Know Eskelin 6:03; 7 Listen Now! Vonetta Shorter 7:41; 8 Listen Now! The Gun Wars Liebman 10:10
Personnel: Ellery Eskelin, Dave Liebman: Tenor Sax