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Renowned saxophonist Dave Liebman's legacy as a musician who radiates illimitable vigor and a broad artistic expanse, hearkens back to his stint with Miles Davis and seemingly countless collaborations with a who's who in jazz amid an extensive resume as a leader. On this supercharged jazz-fusion gala he is the featured artist with spiraling young star, Belgium guitarist Michel Delville (The Wrong Object), ace drummer Tony Bianco (Elton Dean, and Alexander von Schlippenbach).
Delville's stinging phraseology, angular wah-wah licks, foreboding crunch chords, and Bianco's springy beats generate a simmering, multi-tempo gala as Liebman often sprays bullets across the studio when he's not scaling elevated peaks. Several passages boast a rough and tumble hardcore gait, and during "Centipede," the trio gels to a red hot bop express, complemented with some free-form jazz rock movements. However, Joe Zawinul's classic "In A Silent Way," is given a worldly makeover, partly due to Liebman's ethereal wooden flute lines atop the drummer's sweeping polyrhythms. Here, the musicians execute a flourishing modality, but shift the tide when Liebman switches to soprano sax and guides his cohorts into a more literal reading of the primary theme.
Vocalist Saba Twelde injects an intermission of sorts into the mix on the ambient electronic ballad "The Secret Place," which may have been intended to serve as a change of pace. Nonetheless, the trio preserves the steamy milieu on the 12-minute piece "Elisabeth," heightened by Delville's doomsday riffs, asymmetrical pulse, and a portentously designed climactic buildup, boosted by the saxophonist's capricious soprano sax escapades. Nonetheless, Machine Mass goes for the knockout blow via this feisty and rebel rousing exhibition that contains a surfeit of diametric contrasts and smoldering exchanges.
Track Listing: Inti; Centipede; Lloyd; In A Silent Way; A Sight; Utoma; The Secret
Place; Elisabeth; Voice.
Personnel: Michel Delville: guitar, Roland GR09, electronics; Tony Bianco: drums,
loops, percussion; Dave Liebman: soprano & tenor saxophone, wooden
flute; Saba Tewelde: vocals (7).
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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