All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

584

Dave Liebman Quartet Live at Anthology

Robert Bush By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Liebman Quartet
Anthology
San Diego, CA
September 23, 2010

Soprano saxophone master Dave Liebman kicked off a short West Coast tour Thursday evening at Anthology, San Diego's premiere jazz nightclub. Liebman is experimenting with a more electrified version of his working ensemble (of over 20 years now), to that end, long-time bassist Tony Moreno was heard on electric bass all night. Liebman's front-line partner in the quartet is the vastly under-rated guitar virtuoso Vic Juris who showed his mastery of the instrument to be the equal of anyone playing today. The newest member of the ensemble is drummer Marko Marcinko who's been with them for "just" ten years.

The concert began with two Liebman orginals: a modified blues, (the chart was three pages long), "Smokin' At The Cafe," and a piece inspired by the Wayne Shorter classic "Night-Dreamer" christened "Dream Of Night." "Smokin' At The Cafe" sort of set the agenda for the concert's arc. Liebman played through the melody, then played a very short solo—and turned it over to Juris—who unwound a long, organic statement starting off with well spaced chord voicings and slowly expanding single note legato expressions. These gradually built in intensity to a crescendo—then eased back into tasteful voice-leadings, at which point Liebman told a much longer soprano story, full of intricate details and ever increasing intensities. The saxophonist also used tasteful amounts of digital delay, creating melodies that staggered around and on top of each other—to spell-binding effect.

"Dream Of Night" utilized a similar, loose arrangement strategy. After stating the melody, Liebman carried on with a serpentine saxophone solo, stopping several times before it got prematurely out of hand, then building to rapid-fire, racing trills that got a little "grainy" tone-wise. This time, he handed off to drummer Marko Marcinko who took a terrific drum solo—that featured wide shifts in dynamics and a similar, patient, approach—as far as telling a story in a solo. Up next was a tune called, "Brother Ernesto." This one featured Juris trying out a brand-new Taylor acoustic guitar. Apparently, this was the first time the guitar had been played—but you couldn't tell that from Juris' solo—he put the guitar into combat mode immediately—finger-picking wicked arpeggio stretches and executing speedy scalar passages—and finally, changing the envelope entirely by stepping on pitch-shift and vibrato pedals to make it seem like the neck was being pulled apart by invisible forces. Again for his solo, Liebman took his time. He'd play an increasingly fast series of modal runs, then suddenly stop—take the horn out of his mouth—and wait, until the time was right to continue. The virtuosity of a master.

Things just kept getting better: Liebman then announced a Vic Juris arrangement of the Ornette Coleman composition, "Una Muy Bonita." This performance was an ecstatic highlight. The arrangement was episodic in scope—it visited several moods and tempos and stylistic grooves—from Latin tinged, to rocking out a la Ornette's "Prime-Time," to a hard, bluesy swing. Juris' solo began with his heavily processed guitar engaged in a long solo cadenza that came to a climax with other-worldly pitch shifting that almost ended in scream therapy. After a short bass solo by Moreno, the gears shifted on a dime into swing-time. Marcinko the drummer, dialled up his ride-cymbal pinging and cross-stick commentary until his motions at the kit started to blur visually. The arrangement had arrived at the "totally-off-the-map" phase—it was truly "free-bop" when Juris surprised everyone with some beautiful harp-harmonic arpeggiating that led back to Ornette's life-affirming, joyous melody.

The saxophonist shifted gears dramatically by visiting the Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim's composition, "Zingaro." Once again, Juris made use of the Taylor custom-acoustic guitar to pluck out some appropriately tasteful chord passages. Juris' approach to chord work and his knowledge of harmony was nothing short of amazing. The Liebman quartet took "Zingaro" down a different path. Their version was slower and sounded more like a modified tango than a bossa-nova. It was beautiful without being syrupy.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

The Sky

The Sky

Dave Liebman
Turnaround: The Music of...

A Bright Place

A Bright Place

Dave Liebman
Live/As Always

WTC

WTC

Dave Liebman
Quest for Freedom

Lost Horizon

Lost Horizon

Dave Liebman
Five on One

Standoff

Standoff

Dave Liebman
Re-Dial

CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz Raconteurs
Interviews
Read more articles
Petite Fleur: The Music of Sidney Bechet

Petite Fleur: The...

Origin Records
2018

buy
The Unknowable

The Unknowable

RareNoiseRecords
2018

buy
Compassion: The Music Of John Coltrane

Compassion: The Music...

Resonance Records
2017

buy
Expansions Live

Expansions Live

Whaling City Sound
2017

buy
Expansions - The Puzzle

Expansions - The...

Whaling City Sound
2016

buy
Expansions: The Puzzle

Expansions: The Puzzle

Whaling City Sound
2016

buy

Related Articles

Read Tallinn Music Week 2018 Live Reviews
Tallinn Music Week 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: April 19, 2018
Read James Blood Ulmer and the Thing at Bochum Art Museum Live Reviews
James Blood Ulmer and the Thing at Bochum Art Museum
by Phillip Woolever
Published: April 17, 2018
Read Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano Live Reviews
Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 16, 2018
Read Marbin at The Firmament Live Reviews
Marbin at The Firmament
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 15, 2018
Read Big Ears Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Big Ears Festival 2018
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 13, 2018
Read Meg Morley Trio at 606 Club Live Reviews
Meg Morley Trio at 606 Club
by Gareth Thomas
Published: April 13, 2018
Read "Vivian Reed at Feinstein's/54 Below" Live Reviews Vivian Reed at Feinstein's/54 Below
by Tyran Grillo
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Arturo Sandoval At Yoshi's Oakland" Live Reviews Arturo Sandoval At Yoshi's Oakland
by Walter Atkins
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Hyde Park Jazz Festival 2017" Live Reviews Hyde Park Jazz Festival 2017
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 1, 2017
Read "Yoko Miwa Trio at Scullers" Live Reviews Yoko Miwa Trio at Scullers
by Doug Hall
Published: November 3, 2017
Read "Anat Cohen at Davidson College" Live Reviews Anat Cohen at Davidson College
by Perry Tannenbaum
Published: April 27, 2017