Dave Liebman: Picture Show / Different but the Same


Sign in to view read count
Dave Liebman, on two very different recordings, shows himself to be both a master of his instruments and a sonic explorer of the deepest intensity. Of course, this is no new revelation—from his work with Miles Davis and Elvin Jones to his own often brilliant recordings, he has played with expanding the role of the reed instruments in jazz by caring an awful lot about sound. "Different but the same might be said of all his playing—it's in and out of the tradition.

David Liebman

Picture Show



Picture Show is a 1985 solo effort—Liebman plays all the saxophones and flutes plus piano, synthesizer and percussion. It's a study of a world of music and sound—and takes in colors from other cultures and even digs into some rock and roll. (He played with Miles when the trumpeter was exploring that world as well.) The music is challenging and often dissonant but never any less than fascinating. It takes an artist to pull off this kind of bold experiment and Liebman lives up to that role. There's enough color and humor here to keep the project from pretension and the pieces are all short so there's little chance of the disc wearing out its welcome. Note how on "Blues 'n' Dues and "Rock Around the Clock he finds new routes to roots.

David Liebman/Ellery Eskelin

Different but the Same



In Ellery Eskelin, Liebman has found a like- minded partner who also goes his own way. Here we have the classic two-tenor format—think Coltrane and Rollins or Griff and Lockjaw—but this record stretches the notion of what those pairings achieved. And Dave and Ellery have the good fortune to be supported rhythmically by two equally adventurous souls—Tony Marino on bass and Jim Black on drums—who are happy to follow and complement the leaders' wanderings. The players here have each contributed originals but the surprises emerge mostly on more "standard material. Of special note are: the airy yet robust takes on themes that come out of Cole Porter's "What is This Thing Called Love , Lee Konitz' "Subconscious-Lee , Tadd Dameron's "Hot House and then the Porter original; and in the delicate yet powerful reading of Wayne Shorter's "Vonetta .

"Liebman and Eskelin often sound the same, Dave says. "I can't always tell the difference myself. But on this recording they also display their strong, individual personalities.

Picture Show

Personnel: Dave Liebman: saxophones, flutes, piano, synthesizer, percussion

Different but the Same

Tracks: 1 Listen Now! Tie Those Laces Liebman 6:45; 2 Listen Now! Gnid Dameron 7:23; 3 Listen Now! You Call It Eskelin 7:47; 4 Listen Now! Different But Same Liebman 6:46; 5 Listen Now! What Is This Thing: Subconscious-Lee/Hot House/What Is This Thing Calle Dameron, Konitz, Porter 5:43; 6 Listen Now! How Do I Know Eskelin 6:03; 7 Listen Now! Vonetta Shorter 7:41; 8 Listen Now! The Gun Wars Liebman 10:10

Personnel: Ellery Eskelin, Dave Liebman: Tenor Sax

Post a comment


View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Local Businesses | More...


The Montreux Years
John McLaughlin
Long Way Home
Dimitris Angelakis
Potsa Lotsa XL & Youjin Sung
Anthony Coleman and Brian Chase


Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.