Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Contact: Dave Liebman / John Abercrombie / Marc Copland ...

406

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

By

Sign in to view read count
Contact: Dave Liebman / John Abercrombie / Marc Copland / Drew Gress / Billy Hart: Five on One
Five on One features five of the most renowned artists in modern jazz working together as a cooperative ensemble under the name Contact. Saxophonist Dave Liebman, guitarist John Abercrombie, pianist Marc Copland, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Billy Hart transcend the aesthetic limitations of many similar all-star gatherings with their complementary sensibilities, garnered over the years in various configurations.

Although this is the first time all five musicians have worked together, their paths have crossed many times before, most recently on Copland's Another Place (Pirouet, 2008). Abercrombie and Liebman were founding members of the early seventies fusion septet Lookout Farm, while the saxophonist and Hart performed together in the late eighties acoustic quartet Quest. Liebman and Copland have worked in duo and quartet formations in the recent past, with Gress and Hart regularly appearing as sidemen in the pianist's various trios.

A truly collaborative effort, each artist strives for synchronous accord within the collective without abandoning his own personal strengths and idiosyncrasies. Copland delves beyond his usual introspective romanticism, occasionally probing deeper into more expressionistic territory. Abercrombie and Liebman, renowned for their stylistic diversity, wax lyrical across a wide dynamic range—from stately to spirited—with understated support provided by Gress and Hart, whose longstanding rapport is infused with a subtle, refined intensity.

Writing duties are split amongst the group, with Abercrombie contributing three of eight originals. The guitarist's buoyant "Sendup" opens the date with a lilting air, framing Liebman's darting soprano against a mosaic of silvery fretwork and Copland's cascading filigrees, as Gress and Hart modulate through variable tempos and meters with nuanced precision. Trafficking in stark, fervent territory, the follow-up, "Like It Never Was" reveals the group's emotional range on a melancholic blues dirge. Copland's free-falling sentiments are amplified by Liebman and Abercrombie at the coda with a simmering urgency that builds to a roiling burn—an aesthetic mirrored on the similarly ardent "My Refrain."

Briefly stepping into avant-garde territory, Abercrombie's pithy free-bop number, "Four on One" careens with brisk Ornettish abandon. Effervescent ballads, like "Childmoon Smile" and "Lullaby for Imke" offer dynamic contrast, showcasing the ensemble's poetic sophistication and sensitivity. But it is the album's epic finale, a subtly deconstructed, unsentimental reading of the American Songbook favorite "You and the Night and the Music" that reinforces the quintet's interpretive prowess. Recast as a dark modal vamp, the quintet ascends from ethereal impressionism to roiling fervor, with Liebman's turbulent tenor instigating a series of potent statements from each member of the group.

The egalitarian nature of this quietly intense summit is magnified by the participants' natural congeniality, with no single artist dominating the proceedings. Lending credence to their name, Contact embodies the finer aspects of collaboration, making Five on One a stellar example of modern mainstream jazz.

Visit Dave Liebman, John Abercrombie, Marc Copland, Drew Gress and Billy Hart on the web.

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 saxophone; John Abercrombie: guitar; Marc Copland: piano; Drew Gress: bass; Billy Hart: drums.

Album information

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

Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Being
Chris Rottmayer
Town of Two Faces
The Choir Invisible with Charlotte Greve, Vinnie...
They Tried to Kill Me Yesterday
Paul R. Harding / Michael Bisio / Juma Sultan
Eagle's Point
Chris Potter

Popular

Jazz Hands
Bob James
Esengo
London Afrobeat Collective
Light Streams
John Donegan - The Irish Sextet

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.