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Liebman/Murley Quartet: Live at U of T

Dan McClenaghan By

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Veteran jazz-er Dave Liebman and Mike Murley blow their saxophones like kindred souls on Live at U of T. In front of an appreciative audience, fronting an inspired bass/drum team, and no guitar or keyboard in the mix—the music is a mixture of liquid freedom, low flame fire, and relative restraint (the "restraint" thing in consideration much of Liebman's discography; the man can fly quite free when the inspiration strikes him). If you want to call it "Free," it would fit nicely in the approachable—but still stimulating form of the genre

The simpatico of the hornman isn't a surprise; Murley studied with Liebman in the eighties. He's taken what he learned and flown off with it. Liebman comes out of the Miles Davis/Elvin Jones/Chick Corea "played with" influences. And in this set that has a bold-yet-relaxed intensity, the ghost of John Coltrane hangs around in the back of the auditorium, giving Ornette Coleman an elbow nudge and nodding like a wiseman at gruff tenor flurries that slip into bop grooves, and the golden tones of players' well-tamed soprano saxophones.

Sometimes it's two tenor saxophones bouncing around in eloquent give and take, sometimes a soprano and tenor bouncing their ideas around, and sometimes a pair of sopranos weaving their sweet lines around each other. Ornette Coleman's work with sax manDewey Redman comes to mind, with the two saxophones and no chords format, with the sometimes rasping growling of the reeds.

Live at U of T proves itself a fine example of the two sax front line, small ensemble category of sounds.

Track Listing: Split Or Whole; YBSN; Off A Bird;Small One; Open Spaces; Nebula; And The Angels Sing; Missing Person; Blackwell's Message.

Personnel: Dave Liebman: tenor and soprano saxophones, flute; Mike Murley: tenor and soprano saxophones; Jim Vivian: bass; Terry Clarke: drums.

Title: Live at U of T | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Uoft Jazz

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