How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
You simply can’t go wrong herethe David Liebman Group is one of the most accomplished and versatile combos in jazz, and the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim speaks for itself. The twist here is that these wonderful and rather obscure gems from the Jobim book are mostly played with a straight-ahead swing jazz feel, instead of the Brazilian beat in which they were conceived. And what a delightful concept it proves to be. The Cole Porter like opener, "Mirror of the Waters," swings hard and the dialogue between Liebman and guitarist Vic Juris is a real treat. The gorgeous "For All My Life" is a romantic flamenco tinged ballad performed with feeling and style. Vic Juris and bassist Tony Marino take "Luiza," another simply lovely ballad in a duo way, with the warm and supple bass upfront over the delicate nylon strings of Juris’s exquisite guitar. On "Bird" another one of Jobim’s beautiful, floating melodies, Liebman leads a drumless trio and his tenor certainly does fly over the masterful accompaniment of his colleagues. Dave features an interesting intsrument, the Indian bamboo flute, and Haddad and Marino supply one of the hardest, most exotic grooves I’ve ever heard on "Somewhere in the Hills." This inspired music will definitely take you someplace beautiful. By using the musicians in his band in different combinations (sax-bass-drums, bass-guitar, sax-bass-guitar, etc) Dave Liebman is able to put together a program with worthwhile surprises, and an extremely rewarding sound. Liebman and Juris close the disc with a duet on a reworked "Dindi," showcasing Liebman’s thoughtful piano. Simply said, this recording is a modern day masterpiece, one you should have in your collection.
Track Listing: Mirror of the Waters, For All My Life, I Love You, Luiza, Bird, Somewhere in the Hills, Angela, Math Class, That.
Personnel: Dave Liebman, tenor and soprano sax, Indian bamboo flute, piano, Vic Juris, guitar and guitar synthesizer, Tony Marino, bass, Jamie Haddad, percussion.