Dave Liebman Quartet Live at Anthology
Next was a Juris piece: "Romulans." This one was way different. It started out with a long, wild drum solo that featured Marcinko holding a notched drumstick with pressure on his snare drum then using the other stick to rub manically against the held oneproducing a "gourd-scraper" type effect. The results were intense and highly creative. Eventually, Marcinko's drum solo settled into a rock/funk beat and Liebman took over, using his delay device to create layers of soprano sound that snaked around each other until they climaxed. Then it was the composer's turnhe didn't disappoint. Juris took a long, effects-laden solo that went everywhere and seemed to do everything. What started off as sounding like their version of a rock tune soon ended up sounding like Sun Ra scoring for the "Outer Limits." At the absolute peak of "Romulans," the guitarist stepped on an automatic arpeggio generating pedal for some totally whacky "space" effects. "Romulans" proved that the Liebman ensemble was not your grand-father's jazz combo. It was a lot of fun and great improvising at the same time.
That might have been the highlight of the concert, but Liebman had something else entirely on his mind for the finale. This performance was held on September 23, which happens to be John Coltrane's birthday. Liebman reminded the crowd of this fact, and as a celebration of such, deigned to play the wonderful Coltrane vehicle for improvisation: "India." He began with a long unaccompanied performance on a small, wooden flute, milking every ounce of exotica from it before grabbing up his soprano and leading his group through a tour-de-force exploration of the modal-jazz classic. There were inspired solos from everyone, capping a terrific evening.
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