All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

170

Contact: Dave Liebman / John Abercrombie / Marc Copland / Drew Gress / Billy Hart: Five On One

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
The practice of forming super groups in jazz can be fraught with disaster. Festival promoters often try to draw audiences by lumping musicians together in all-star settings, but a lack of chemistry, familiarity, common ground or interest, often turns these events into yawn-inducing bores. All four of these boundaries, thankfully, don't come into play with Contact—the collaborative quintet responsible for Five On One.

Saxophonist Dave Liebman, guitarist John Abercrombie, pianist Marc Copland, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Billy Hart are connected through various channels. Liebman and Abercrombie go back almost forty years—having worked together in Lookout Farm—and the saxophonist first worked with Hart in the '80s. Abercrombie and Copland go way back together and Gress has been a key element in Copland's trio. The shared history between these five men—and their ability to operate on similar wavelengths while asserting themselves in their own special way—helps to create magic across these nine tracks.

Abercrombie and Liebman control the direction of the music on the album-opening "Sendup." Copland is judicious in choosing how much to play on this one but when he interacts with Liebman's soprano, dwelling in a similar range as the saxophonist, he creates sparks with his conversational genius. "Like It Never Was" starts off easy, with some piano work from Copland, but develops into a scorching display of solidarity from Liebman and Abercrombie. These two kindred spirits add some grit to their sound as they tangle—with Liebman occasionally showing a chameleon-like ability to imitate the guitarist—and come together toward the end of the song.

"Four On One" is a rambunctious ride and Liebman delivers some agitated, scurrying lines that work over and around some similar sentiments from Gress. While the quintet takes this one pretty far out, "Lost Horizon" finds them back on solid ground. Copland delivers a brief introduction here, allowing Liebman and Abercrombie to take control of the piece.

Hart's drum work is a key ingredient on "My Refrain," which features another homerun solo from Liebman, but the drummer takes a backseat on his own "Lullaby For Imke. "You And The Night And The Music" is the only Great American Songbook selection on the album but this reading is anything but standard. After a bit of uncertainty, the melody leisurely comes out of Liebman's horn—with some assists from Abercrombie—and Copland really asserts himself here, following Liebman's solo with a bold spot of his own. Gress gets some solo space, before Hart starts trading with the rest of the crew, and the familiar melody returns—albeit in a more anxious state. Contact proves to be an apt choice for a band name—expressing the ability of these particular musicians to connect with one another and, just as likely, their ability to connect with the modern jazz listening public.

Track Listing: Sendup; Like It Never Was; Childmoon Smile; Four on One; Lost Horizon; Retractable Cell; My Refrain; Lullaby for Imke; You and the Night and the Music.

Personnel: Dave Liebman: tenor and soprano saxophones; John Abercrombie: guitar; Marc Copland: piano; Drew Gress: bass; Billy Hart: drums.

Title: Five on One | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Pirouet Records

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
Read more articles
Petite Fleur: The Music of Sidney Bechet

Petite Fleur: The...

Origin Records
2018

buy
The Unknowable

The Unknowable

RareNoiseRecords
2018

buy
No Fast Food

No Fast Food

Corner Store Jazz
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

Related Articles

Read Rumah Batu CD/LP/Track Review
Rumah Batu
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 17, 2018
Read The Bat Swings! CD/LP/Track Review
The Bat Swings!
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 17, 2018
Read Terrestrial CD/LP/Track Review
Terrestrial
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 17, 2018
Read Get Somethin' CD/LP/Track Review
Get Somethin'
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 17, 2018
Read Bansangu Orchestra CD/LP/Track Review
Bansangu Orchestra
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 17, 2018
Read Smart Grid CD/LP/Track Review
Smart Grid
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 16, 2018
Read "Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich
by John Sharpe
Published: May 26, 2018
Read "This Was Now" CD/LP/Track Review This Was Now
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 27, 2018
Read "The Tronosonic Experience" CD/LP/Track Review The Tronosonic Experience
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 9, 2017
Read "Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds" CD/LP/Track Review Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 6, 2017
Read "Rediscovered Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 29, 2017
Read "Osmosis" CD/LP/Track Review Osmosis
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 25, 2018