Phil Markowitz has been on the jazz scene for several decades, though the veteran pianist is more widely known to many jazz fans as a sideman than as a leader, having worked with Chet Baker, Bob Mintzer, Dave Liebman, Jack Wilkins, Al Di Meola and many others. But Markowitz has written a number of impressive compositions over the years, one of the best being Sno' Peas," recorded by the late Bill Evans on his album Affinity (Warner Bros., 1978), with Toots Thielemans. Catalysis is just his fourth CD as a leader, but like his earlier efforts, it ...read more
Veteran pianist Phil Markowitz has built an impressive resume over the last thirty years, performing with the likes of Chet Baker, Toots Thielemans, Bob Mintzer and David Liebman. On Catalysis, Markowitz leads the way with an outstanding acoustic trio featuring eight of his original compositons. The trio is rounded out by bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Adam Nussbaum.
The level of communication between the members of the trio is of the highest order. After the sneaky unison line on the opening M.D.A.," supported by Nussbaum's brush-stroke bounce, Anderson performs his first of many clever bass solos, morphing into ...read more
With so many artists striving for attention, it's often easy to overlook those who have devoted their lives to music, known amongst musician circles as players of great depth while remaining largely below the radar. His discography as a leader may be small, but Phil Markowitz has, for the past three decades, been the pianist of choice for more visible artists including saxophonist David Liebman--in whose group he worked for a decade, collaborating on the dark-hued and pensive duet disc Manhattan Dialogues (Zoho, 2005) and, as part of the tenor trifecta Saxophone Summit, releasing Seraphic Light (Telarc, 2008)--and Yellowjackets saxophonist ...read more
The opener on Manhattan Dialogues, most of which is composed by David Liebman, is his own Teacher of Our Child. It's a comfortably melancholy rumination, yet more suggestive of the early hours of a morning after than of a kindergarten. By contrast, 7 only fleetingly lands on traditional melodic structure. Here Liebman (soprano and tenor saxophone) and Phil Markowitz (piano), who have been collaborating in various settings since the early '90s, trade musical fragments. Markowitz jumps around on the keys, occasionally giving out with cheerfully melodic outbursts that are punctuated by droll tweaks and sqeaks and lowdown moans from Liebman. ...read more
Most musicians are fortunate enough to find one musical partner where such shared simpatico exists that they can evolve in perfect tandem--exploring a variety of contexts with the kind of comfort level that ensures complete trust and an unfettered imagination that makes no pursuit beyond reach. To find more than one is rare indeed. Saxophonist Dave Liebman and pianist Richie Beirach's 20-year-plus relationship, well-documented on last year's Mosaic Select 12 box of archival live recordings, saw them approach everything from the early fusion-meets-world music of Lookout Farm to the open-ended freedom of Quest and more intimate duets.
But when the ...read more
The ambience and energy of live jazz is best experienced in person, but if you can't make the event to see your artist of interest, then these new recordings may be the next best thing. From varied settings, locals, and ensembles they give an audible glimpse of what live jazz has to offer.
Terry Gibbs Feelin' Good: Live in Studio Mack Avenue Records 2005
Octogenarian vibraphonist Terry Gibbs, who has performed on countless studio sessions, desired a different vibe for his next recording. I wanted it to be like we were performing in a ...read more
Dave Liebman and Phil Markowitz are no strangers to the jazz public, particularly as members of the New York scene. Actively performing and recording together for over ten years, their longevity continues a pattern favored by Liebman. Pianist Richie Bierach was Liebman's longtime collaborator in the '70s and '80s. On Manhattan Dialogues, the duo's indisputable familiarity pays great dividends. All of the necessary elements for creating highly evolved music are here: advanced technical ability, cutting-edge harmonic understanding, spectacular imagination, tremendous interplay, and fine compositions.From the outset one notices a very powerful emotional commitment to the music. Liebman's dexterity ...read more
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