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When it comes seeing how adventurous a person is, John Coltrane's late period is one of the things that separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls. From 1965 until his death in 1967, Trane offered the most atonal of free jazz-and his music became so blistering that even some of his most ardent admirers shy away from his late period. But what frightens others is a challenge that Dave Liebman accepts with this CD, which finds the underexposed soprano saxman interpreting the music from Trane's 1965 experiment Meditations.
Very much a risk-taker, Liebman is someone who has often been willing to jump into a variety of challenging situations. By refusing to play it safe and crawl into a comfort zone, he's fallen flat on his face on occasion. But this time, he came out on top. The pieces fall into place nicely for Liebman, who remains faithful to the spirit of this "outside" music but lets his own charm work its magic. Dense, amelodic and abrasive, this isn't easy music to get into. But for those brave enough to make the journey, this spiritual effort reveals more and more of its power and richness with each listen.