Renowned saxophonist Dave Liebman's legacy as a musician who radiates illimitable vigor and a broad artistic expanse, hearkens back to his stint with Miles Davis and seemingly countless collaborations with a who's who in jazz amid an extensive resume as a leader. On this supercharged jazz-fusion gala he is the featured artist with spiraling young star, Belgium guitarist Michel Delville (The Wrong Object), ace drummer Tony Bianco (Elton Dean, and Alexander Von Schlippenbach). Delville's stinging phraseology, angular wah-wah licks, foreboding crunch chords, and Bianco's springy beats generate a simmering, multi-tempo gala as Liebman often sprays bullets across the ...read more
In 2010, saxophonist Dave Liebman and drummer Michael Stephans began tossing around cover song ideas with guitarist Vic Juris, who was featured in the Liebman Group from 1991 through 2012. These conversations were soon joined by bassist Evan Gregor, keyboard player Bobby Avey and woodwinds player Matt Vashilishan. The resultant Lineage, subtitled Rock and Pop Classics Revisited, features songs by such cultural icons of the 1950s and '60s as Elvis Presley and The Beatles. Co-led by the saxophonist whose contributions to bands led by Miles Davis and Chick Corea helped expand the boundaries of modern jazz, the band on Lineage ...read more
In the search for enriched jazz expressiveness, the duet format has been revived, giving the musicians greater space for improvising than a larger group and avoiding the overpowering influence of a rhythm section, while affording an opportunity to engage personalities and swap notes" with another whose ideas and style are of special interest. Iconic saxophonist Dave Liebman, who thrives in just about any kind of ensemble, recently made a duo recording with pianist Marc Copland (Impressions, hatOLOGY, 2011), which he now follows up with this CD with guitarist John Stowell. Both Copland and Stowell, like Liebman, adhere closely to the ...read more
Saxophonist Dave Liebman joined guitarist John Stowell and bassist Don Thompson on three tunes on Stowell's The Banff Sessions (Origin Records, 2002). More than a decade later, Stowell and Liebman have teamed up on a duo outing, Blue Rose. The two artists' take on a bunch of jazz standards and Great American Songbook tunes has a beautiful fluidity in this pared down setting. Stowell's lines are crisp and clean, while Liebman's keening soprano sax slices sweetly through the guitarist chords, while his tenor has a fiery and undomesticated sound. The duo opens with the title tune, from the ...read more
Saxophonist Dave Liebman was yet another musician drawn into the orbit of trumpeter Miles Davis, contributing to the always innovative master band leader's extraordinary and ground breaking--but underappreciated and even maligned at its time of release--On the Corner (Columbia Records, 1972), as well as Dark Magus (Columbia Records, 1974) and Get Up With It (Columbia Records, 1974). Then, like so many others--saxophonists Wayne Shorter and John Coltrane, pianist Herbie Hancock, drummers' Tony Williams and Elvin Jones, to name just a handful--Liebman, a changed man for the Davis experience, left that orbit on his own trajectory, to become one of our ...read more
Dave Liebman with the Andy Emler TrioApril Jazz FestivalLouhisaliTapiolaHelsinki, FinlandApril 24, 2013 Saxophonist Dave Liebman is known to have played the length and breadth of the jazz world, on both sides of the Atlantic, in both hemispheres, and, having done so for nearly 50 years, it is impressive that he is still able to find novelty and innovation in every performance. As his record testifies, his name is synonymous with virtuosity and also humility, as he devotes himself to educational work in equal measure to performance. His ...read more
Question: What values does a jazz education offer beyond the music itself?Artists have always had a supply and demand problem. Since time immemorial there have been more people with creative ideas than an audience to communicate them to, especially if the art demands more than a cursory attention span. In the current world of jazz education, the situation vis a vis graduating more and more of the most equipped musicians in history (every year more so) in stark contrast to the scarcity of paid performance and recording opportunities has assumed epic disproportion. To deny this would be like ...read more
Jazz and classical music have long been bedfellows. As far back as the 1920s, clarinetist/soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet was quoting Italian opera in solos, and in the 1950s/60s, notable composers/arrangers like Gil Evans and George Russell were, at least in part, driven to innovation through exposure/study of contemporary classical music, with Gunther Schuller even coining the phrase Third Stream" to describe the two musics' meeting point. But, for the most part, all of this music bears some kind of connection to the jazz tradition. Sky Changes does, too, but it's a more tenuous link, one that comes, in more ways ...read more
What It Is: The Life of a Jazz ArtistDave Liebman In Conversation with Lewis Porter386 PagesISBN: 978-0810882034Scarecrow Press2012In life, there's them that are aware and them's that ain't. Them's that are aware are not necessarily better than them's that ain't; but in being aware, they're able to assess their own lives in a broader context and, perhaps, as they reach the later stages of life, truly comprehend their strengths and weaknesses, their successes and failures, their achievements and the things that may simply be beyond their reach. An ...read more
[The following is an excerpt from Chapter 4 of What It Is: The Life of a Jazz Artist (Scarecrow Press, 2012), by saxophonist Dave Liebman, in conversation with Lewis Porter, author of John Coltrane: His Life and Music (University of Michigan Press, 2000). In it, Liebman and Porter discuss the saxophonist's involvement in the loft scene of the late 1960s/early 1970s in New York City, and creation Free Life Communication with a group of like-minded musicians.This excerpt appears by permission of the publisher, Scarecrow Press. This material is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. Please contact the publisher ...read more
Dave Liebman / Richie Beirach Unspoken OutNote Records 2011 It's one thing for individual artists' voices to be instantly recognizable, another thing entirely when a readily identifiable language evolves amongst them, one that's absent when they're apart. There's no mistaking the bop-rooted expressionism that saxophonist Dave Liebman imbues with oblique lyricism, whether with his longstanding group on Turnaround: The Music of Ornette Coleman (Jazzwerkstatt, 2010) or in a new collection of largely old friends on Five on One (Pirouet, 2010). Nicknamed The Code," pianist Richie Beirach's personal marriage of jazz vernacular with that of classical ...read more
Dave Liebman Group Café Paradiso Ottawa, Canada May 20-21, 2011 When saxophonist and recent NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman brought his longstanding group to Ottawa's Café Paradiso a little over three years ago in April, 2008, it was truly one of the hottest, most memorable shows this city has seen in years--if not ever. Now two decades old, with three of its original members--Liebman, guitar underdog Vic Juris and the equally underappreciated bassist Tony Marino--still around, and its fourth, powerhouse drummer Marko Marcinko, long beyond being the new kid on the block," having spent ten ...read more
While there is some truth in the old adage if it ain't broke don't fix it," it's not always bad to mess with a good thing. Saxophonist Dave Liebman and pianist Richie Beirach have been playing together for over 40 years, in ensembles ranging from the big band of Quest for Freedom (Sunnyside, 2010) and smaller ensemble of Quest and Re-Dial: Live in Hamburg (OutNote, 2010) to duo records like 1985's Double Edge, recently reissued with two early Quest albums as Searching for the Next Sound of Bebop (Storyville, 2010). It's one thing to place two players who share such ...read more
A few months shy of 65, saxophonist Dave Liebman may be having the busiest time of his career, now in its fifth decade. In the past 12 months, nearly a dozen releases have demonstrated the tremendous stylistic breadth of a musical oeuvre that kicked into high gear early, when, in the short span of three years, Liebman participated in three recordings that remain important touchstones for their artists: guitarist John McLaughlin's My Goals Beyond (Ryko, 1970), drummer Elvin Jones' Live at the Lighthouse (Blue Note, 1972), and trumpet icon Miles Davis' On the Corner (Columbia, 1972), the latter an album ...read more
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