David Liebman: Colors

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
David Liebman: Colors Sure enough, the title of this record betrays the artist's vision, expressed through tunes inspired by the hues of the rainbow. But Colors is not Liebman Lite, make no mistake. These dozen solo tenor tracks are as serious as they come. But where other adventurous players use the solo setting as an opportunity to get furious and wild, David Liebman mostly respects his limits and pursues timbre and motion instead.

That said, it's important to be aware that control is often a synonym for restraint, witnessed here through a relatively precise approach to the instrument. When Liebman lays out a theme, he fleshes it out beyond skin and bone, adding muscle and heft where necessary, as on the overblown cries of "Black 1." His chops have never been in doubt, but what's most remarkable here is how he exploits every part of his horn. The aptly titled "White 1" gradually climbs out of soft breathing noises and light finger punctuation into stark, barely-voiced cries, only to retreat and ascend the gradual slope once again.

At quiet times like this you can fully appreciate the rich acoustics of the Banff Center, where the disc was recorded in the summer of 1998. The abundant bouncing reverations may put some listeners off, and fairly so, because they superimpose a layer of sound beyond what Liebman pulls out of his horn. But if you look at the big picture, it's apparent that he is fully aware of his acoustic environment, exploiting it as he rounds out phrases and pauses between notes.

As for the colors on the disc, the most memorable include the appropriately soulful strains of "Blue 1," with a touch of vibrato, a thick tone, and faint echoes of Ben Webster. "Red 2" has a decidedly swinging edge, pushing a relatively clean theme through successive rounds of embellishment and change, fluttering and trilling along. "Black 2" takes off where "Black 1" left off, starkly anguished and sharply blown. Its shrill, honking closure leads off abruptly into a second white field comprised of bare minimum blowing and popping sounds. It's somewhat ironic that Liebman never really hits full overdrive until the very end, a heated ball of energy called "Yellow 2." His pulses here again emphasize the hall's acoustics.

Liebman considers this record a companion to his soprano solo disc The Tree (Soul Note, 1990), and those in the know may find some interesting parallels. But Colors is by all means a stand-alone work, some of the most inventive and involving music Dave Liebman has ever recorded.

Visit Hatology on the web.

Track Listing: Red 1; Black 1; White 1; Gray 1; Blue 1; Yellow 1; Red 2; Black 2; White 2; Gray 2; Blue 2; Yellow 2.

Personnel: David Liebman: tenor saxophone.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Hat Hut Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php on line 39

More Articles

Read Dreamsville CD/LP/Track Review Dreamsville
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2017
Read High Time CD/LP/Track Review High Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 26, 2017
Read April CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Small World CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Rebirth" CD/LP/Track Review Rebirth
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 4, 2017
Read "The Broader Picture" CD/LP/Track Review The Broader Picture
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Janus" CD/LP/Track Review Janus
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "Beauty Within" CD/LP/Track Review Beauty Within
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 3, 2016
Read "Clarinet (& Piano)" CD/LP/Track Review Clarinet (& Piano)
by John Eyles
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "Marianne" CD/LP/Track Review Marianne
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 28, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus


Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!