413

David Liebman / Roberto Tarenzi / Paolo Benedettini / Tony Arco: Negative Space

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
David Liebman / Roberto Tarenzi / Paolo Benedettini / Tony Arco: Negative Space Sometimes there's simply too much good material for a single disc, and then a decision has to be made: release a double-disc set, or two single-discs, spread apart and each with its own complexion? In the case of saxophonist Dave Liebman's European group with Italians Roberto Tarenzi (piano), Paolo Bendettini (bass) and Tony Arco (drums), choosing the latter not only helps bring more attention over a lenghtier period of time but, despite being culled from the same three dates in late 2005, also focuses on slightly different aspects of the group.

Dream of Nite (Verve, 2007) was largely about original compositions from the group members (with one cover), also weighing in heavily on Liebman's soprano playing. Negative Space is a more equitable mix of Liebman's soprano and tenor, also placing greater emphasis on his writing, with the saxophonist contributing three of its five tunes and a contemporary re-harmonization of the Bernier/Simon classic, "Poinciana." The set-closer, a barnstorming group take of Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue"—originally popularized by John Coltrane— demonstrates how indebted Liebman is to the late saxophone icon, while also making clear how he's evolved that debt into something far more personal.

Unsurprisingly, like Dream of Nite, Negative Space sits comfortably in the mainstream, but proves that the tradition has by no means reached a position of complacency. Liebman's "G.I.G." refers to the late, great songwriting team, George and Ira Gershwin, and swings along at an amiable pace, leaving plenty of space for Tarenzi to build an impressive and lengthy solo of motivic invention before Liebman takes over on tenor, combining his own attention to thematic development with the visceral expressionism that's become an ever-present signature. This is timeless music that would have fit comfortably at the 1978 Village Vanguard date which resulted in Liebman's Mosaic Select 32: Pendulum Live at the Village Vanguard (Mosaic, 2008), and yet in the group's expanded harmonies, notably Tarenzi's accompaniment on Liebman's paradoxically ethereal yet grounded title track, there's an unmistakably modern air to the entire set.

Despite there being more soprano saxophonists on the scene today, few have evolved as instantly recognizable a voice as Liebman. In the company of Tarenzi, Benedittini and Arco—who've clearly spent considerable time working together as a trio—Liebman has the same kind of freedom to explore, within some defined parameters, as he has with American groups including the recently reformed Quest, heard on Redemption—Quest Live in Europe (Hatology, 2007). His exciting duet with Arco, following the drummer's well-constructed building-from- nothing solo at the beginning of Liebman's burning "Get Me Back to the Apple," is a perfect confluence of bebop sensibility and stream-of-consciousness free play.

Negative Space is a strong dovetail to Dream of Nite, possessing all the strengths that made the quartet's first release so compelling while adding a few new ones to the mix.

Track Listing: Introducing the Band; G.IG.; Negative Space; Get Me Back to the Apple; Poinciana; Afro Blue.

Personnel: Dave Liebman: tenor and soprano saxophones; Roberto Tarenzi: piano; Paolo Benedettini: double-bass; Tony Arco: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Verve Music Group | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

  • The Sky
    The Sky
    Dave Liebman
    Turnaround: The Music of...
  • A Bright Place
    A Bright Place
    Dave Liebman Big Band
    Live/As Always
  • WTC
    WTC
    Dave Liebman / Richie Beirach / Frankfurt Radio Bigband
    Quest for Freedom
  • Lost Horizon
    Lost Horizon
    Dave Liebman / Contact
    Five on One
  • Standoff
    Standoff
    Dave Liebman / Quest
    Re-Dial
CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz Raconteurs
Interview
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Oaktree" CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 12, 2017
Read "Mata Hati" CD/LP/Track Review Mata Hati
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "Double Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Double Quartet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 3, 2016
Read "Schönbrunn" CD/LP/Track Review Schönbrunn
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2017
Read "Hope Of Home" CD/LP/Track Review Hope Of Home
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 2, 2017
Read "Ocean of Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 4, 2017
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!