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Book Excerpts

Dave Liebman: What It Is - The Life of a Jazz Artist

By Published: June 22, 2012
People already knew Chick Corea. The 'hood knew—the community knew him. He was definitely the piano guy in New York. So, he asked me if I thought he could get the first-floor loft. I went to Saul and we went through the same rap—can he pay?, yeah, he works with Miles Davis; ok, you guys have been good, etc, etc. That was how we had all three lofts in the building on 19th Street—Dave [Holland], Chick and myself. That's the beginning of a lot of stuff—scientology, macrobiotics, psychedelics, the group Circle, and the Free Life Communication project.

Chick had a big influence on me. First of all, just the physical aspect of living with Dave and Chick, since they were playing with Miles. Informally, as it turned out, because of the proximity, I was privy to their reactions and what was going on with the incredible music they were creating in that band. In fact, Miles came up to Dave's loft for dinner one evening, so I formally met Miles for the first time. I had met him backstage previously because of Lenny White
Lenny White
Lenny White
, who was on some of his gigs and played on Bitches Brew. When Miles came to the loft, the guys made a macrobiotic dinner for him, and the three of us were sitting there on pillows, legs crossed Indian style. Miles was cool. He ate the rice. We were very strict with the macrobiotic thing. Miles said the food wasn't bad—we actually had a very civil evening. I don't remember much. I know that I didn't talk and I remember that Miles was a very soft talker. He was very nice and it was a pleasant evening.

The 19th Street loft was truly the beginning of my creative life. Everything was preparation up to that point.

Photo Credits

Page 1: Wolfgang Becker

Page 2: Dave Kaufman

Page 3, Liebman with Miles Davis: Courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment

Page 4: Bill King

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