3

Samuel Blais/David Liebman: Cycling

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
There's no accounting for how great music comes together on record. Sometimes everything is meticulously laid out for months or years in advance, as artists use planning and implementation to their advantage in the creative process; other times, sparks just fly at spur of the moment sessions. Cycling falls into the latter category.

In October of 2012, saxophonist Samuel Blais organized a quartet tour that found him working alongside three of his favorite saxophonists—David Binney, Donny McCaslin, and Dave Liebman. On a day off while in Montreal, Liebman suggested that he and Blais take to the studio and record some music. Blais was up for it, he recruited bassist Morgan Moore and drummer Martin Auguste for the session, each saxophonist selected a few tunes, and Cycling was born.

While spontaneity spawned this album, the music rarely betrays that fact. These musicians are highly attuned to one another and there's no shortage of vitality and verve in the music they produce. This foursome visits mysteriously open settings like "Return To Napanoch," slams, swoops, screeches, skronks, and soars through "Interludio Obscurio," brings buoyancy and spry movements to the swinging "Cycling," and delivers catchy riffs along with hip and angular sounds on "Chli-Bli." This group even manages to turn a somewhat stale song like "Taste Of Honey" into a completely fresh vehicle.

At first glance, the pairing of Blais and Liebman sells the music. But, as the album plays on, the selling points change: the virtues of the music, the variety of the material, and the way all four musicians connect manage to become more central to the story than the tale of two saxophonists. Yes, Blais and Liebman remain front and center, completely living up to the billing, but they're not alone in this journey. All four players set up these grooves, willingly embark on outward bound voyages, and work sly angles into these songs. It's amazing what can happen in a studio when the stars align.

Track Listing: Chli-Bli; Sidonie; Interludio Obscurio; Et Voit Le Jour; Cycling; Return To Napanoch; Taste Of Honey; The Crusher.

Personnel: Samuel Blais: baritone saxophone, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; David Liebman: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Morgan Moore: double bass; Martin Auguste: drums.

Title: Cycling | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Effendi Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Satori" CD/LP/Track Review Satori
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 7, 2017
Read "Salão Brazil" CD/LP/Track Review Salão Brazil
by John Sharpe
Published: March 30, 2017
Read "New Affirmation" CD/LP/Track Review New Affirmation
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Garden(s)" CD/LP/Track Review Garden(s)
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 14, 2017
Read "The Motorman's Son" CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Big Wheel Live" CD/LP/Track Review Big Wheel Live
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 17, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.