Amazon.com Widgets
344 Recommend It!

Dave Liebman / Michael Stephans: Nomads (2009)

By Published: | 4,364 views
Dave Liebman / Michael Stephans: Nomads If ever there was a title to best fit Dave Liebman
Dave Liebman
Dave Liebman
b.1946
saxophone
, it would be Nomads. Stylistically, the reedman's life has represented an endless traverse of infinite musical landscapes, ranging from freely improvised music with Australia-based pianist Mike Nock
Mike Nock
Mike Nock
b.1940
piano
on Duologue (Birdland, 2007), and modern, open-ended mainstream with longtime musical partner, pianist Richie Beirach
Richie Beirach
Richie Beirach
b.1947
piano
—heard most recently on the Mosaic box set, Pendulum: Live at the Village Vanguard (2008)—to Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
-informed fusion on Back on the Corner (Tone Center, 2007) and the world-influenced Lookout Farm (ECM, 1974). Percussionist Michael Stephans
Michael Stephans
Michael Stephans
b.1945
drums
is lesser known but, with a multi-disciplinary life spanning education, writing, and performing, he's an equal searcher in the musical continuum, a recent participant on reedman Bennie Maupin
Bennie Maupin
Bennie Maupin
b.1940
clarinet
's wonderful comeback, Penumbra (Cryptogramophone, 2006).



Saxophone is Liebman's main axe—more specifically, the soprano, on which no other jazz player has built so personal a sound and discography since the death of John Coltrane

John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
. Over his 40-year-plus career, however, he's expanded his sonic arsenal. On Nomads' series of free improvisations, original compositions, and free-wheeling standards reinventions, Liebman also plays piano, flutes, drums, and, on "Down and Gone," even recites one of Stephans' poems, accompanied by the drummer—heard, this time, on piano. In addition to piano, drums, and percussion, Stephans plays e-flat valve trombone on his own "Connect the Dots," which swings freely thanks to Liebman's surprisingly fine drumming; cornet on another original, his abstruse tribute to Steve Lacy
Steve Lacy
Steve Lacy
1934 - 2004
sax, soprano
and Don Cherry
Don Cherry
Don Cherry
1936 - 1995
trumpet
, "Sparrows," with Lieb on soprano; and Tibetan singing bowls on the eastern-tinged and aptly titled closing improv, "Ephemeral."



Clearly these are players with ears and minds wide open. The opening title track finds them in a game of call-and-response before settling into a more rhythm-heavy focus on Liebman's wooden flute and Stephans' uncharacteristically melodic drum kit. Liebman's tenor sets a gritty tone for "Mingus Ah Um," while Stephans' hip hop beat and rap link a contemporary genre with the freer beat poetry of the 1950s.



The covers are just as compelling...and unpredictable. Keith Jarrett

Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
b.1945
piano
's "The Windup" opens with a drum solo in New Orleans Second Line territory but, when Liebman's soprano enters for the familiar theme, Stephans quickly lightens up. Still, once the soloing begins, the gloves come off as the two engage in a fiery exchange that doesn't lose sight of Jarrett's original intent. Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
1899 - 1974
piano
's "Dusk" gets a dramatic reading, this time with Liebman on piano, while the Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler classic, "Get Happy," turns bouyant, with Stephans and Liebman (on tenor) keeping the momentum of the changes implied, even when reduced to nothing more than a linear instrument and drums.



Which is, ultimately, the beauty of Nomads. A free blowing session at its core, perhaps, but Liebman and Stephans' allegiance to the essence of every song—spontaneous or preconceived—remains paramount throughout. Such attention elevates Nomads beyond its admittedly exciting interplay to music truly without boundaries, where freedom means the choice to do anything this intrepid duo desires.



Visit Dave Liebman and Michael Stephans on the web.


Track Listing: Nomads; The Windup; Dusk; Get Happy; Sparrows; Mingus Ah Um; Orange Moon; Tie Those Laces; Down and Gone; Connect the Dots; Honeysuckle Rose; Imagination; Shape Shifters; Ephemeral.

Personnel: Dave Liebman: wood flute (1), soprano saxophone (2, 5, 13), piano (3, 11, 13), tenor saxophone (4, 6, 8, 13), mouth piece-less soprano saxophone (7), recitation (9), electronics (9), drums (10), c-flute (14); Michael Stephans: percussion (1), drums (2-4, 7, 8, 11, 13), pocket cornet (5), rap (7), voice (8), piano (9), e-flat valve trombone (10), Tibetan singing bowls (14).

Record Label: ITMP

Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


comments powered by Disqus
Download jazz mp3 “The Sky” by Dave Liebman
  • The Sky
  • Dave Liebman
  • Turnaround: The Music of...
Download jazz mp3 “A Bright Place” by Dave Liebman Big Band Download jazz mp3 “WTC” by Dave Liebman / Richie Beirach / Frankfurt Radio Bigband
  • WTC
  • Dave Liebman / Richie Beirach / Frankfurt Radio Bigband
  • Quest for Freedom
Download jazz mp3 “Lost Horizon” by Dave Liebman / Contact Download jazz mp3 “Standoff” by Dave Liebman / Quest

Weekly Giveaways

Roscoe Mitchell

Roscoe Mitchell

About | Enter

Peter Lerner

Peter Lerner

About | Enter

Jamie Saft

Jamie Saft

About | Enter

Sun Trio

Sun Trio

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW