5

David Liebman & Ellery Eskelin: Non Sequiturs

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Non Sequiturs is the third Hatology release from the cooperative quartet co-led by saxophonist's David Liebman and Ellery Eskelin, following 2008's Renewal and their 2005 debut, Different But The Same. Although the pairing initially seemed surprising (Liebman is Eskelin's former teacher), the two tenors have since demonstrated an innate kinship; each is a fearless improviser, well-versed in the tradition, but unafraid to venture into uncharted territory.

Throughout the album, they alternate probing cadences and lyrical motifs with an uncanny synchronicity that belies their respective reputations—Liebman as the venerable traditionalist, Eskelin as the bold avant-gardist. Yet in fact, the saxophonists are so simpatico that it is occasionally difficult to tell them apart; Liebman himself once stated, "I can't always tell the difference myself."

Enriching their congenial rapport is the dynamic interplay of Liebman's longstanding bassist Tony Marino and Eskelin's steadfast drummer Jim Black. Their intimate familiarity with the nuances of each co-leader's approach imbues the proceedings with supple precision, even during the most abstract excursions. In contrast to the group's previous date, neither Marino nor Black contributes compositions to this studio session. Instead, the two leaders split writing duties, with their respective tunes separated into a virtual set list; Liebman's pieces occupy the first half, while Eskelin's titular suite dominates the second.

"New Breed" (drafted during Liebman's 1970's tenure with Elvin Jones) opens the record, lending new meaning to the song's title with a surge of muscular tenor salvos—a visceral aspect further amplified in an ecstatic cover of Albert Ayler's anthem "Ghosts." The amiable discourse of "In The Mean Time" provides subtle respite between the aforementioned numbers, underpinned by a sinuous modal groove.

The eight-part "Non Sequiturs" suite takes up the entire second half of the program, episodically building in intensity from the hushed unisons of "No Opening" to the rousing funk of "Adjusted Scatter." Eskelin's work requires adherence to notated rhythms, leaving pitch choices to the improvisers; the outcome is a contrapuntal web of interlocking parts designed to steer soloists away from clichéd harmonic patterns. Despite such rigorous frameworks, the final results swing with their own syncopated logic.

Non Sequiturs expands upon the conceptual inroads made in Liebman and Eskelin's previous efforts; their democratic embrace of freedom and form transcends conventional notions of melody, harmony and rhythm, yielding a highly personalized interpretation of the piano-less quartet tradition.

Track Listing: New Breed; In The Mean Time; Ghosts; Non Sequiturs (Suite in 8 parts): No Opening; Low Visibility; Main North; Uncertain Speech; Vertical Prose; Intended Poem; Tin Baroque; Adjusted Scatter.

Personnel: David Liebman: tenor saxophone; Ellery Eskelin: tenor saxophone; Tony Marino: bass; Jim Black: drums.

Title: Non Sequiturs | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Hatology

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

The Sky

The Sky

Dave Liebman
Turnaround: The Music of...

A Bright Place

A Bright Place

Dave Liebman
Live/As Always

WTC

WTC

Dave Liebman
Quest for Freedom

Lost Horizon

Lost Horizon

Dave Liebman
Five on One

Standoff

Standoff

Dave Liebman
Re-Dial

Album Reviews
Interviews
Radio
Album Reviews
Jazz Raconteurs
Interviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Read more articles
On the Corner Live!

On the Corner Live!

Ear Up Records
2019

buy
Chi

Chi

RareNoiseRecords
2019

buy
Quartette Oblique

Quartette Oblique

Sunnyside Records
2019

buy
Petite Fleur: The Music of Sidney Bechet

Petite Fleur: The...

Origin Records
2018

buy
The Unknowable

The Unknowable

RareNoiseRecords
2018

buy
No Fast Food

No Fast Food

Corner Store Jazz
2018

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Apr27Sat
Quartette Oblique
Deer Head Inn
Delaware Water Gap, PA
$15.00

Related Articles

Read Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972 Album Reviews
Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972
By John Kelman
April 19, 2019
Read HUJE 2018 Album Reviews
HUJE 2018
By Jack Bowers
April 19, 2019
Read Farallon Album Reviews
Farallon
By Jerome Wilson
April 19, 2019
Read Burning Meditation Album Reviews
Burning Meditation
By John Sharpe
April 18, 2019
Read Remembering Cecil Album Reviews
Remembering Cecil
By Dan McClenaghan
April 18, 2019
Read Apophenia Album Reviews
Apophenia
By Roger Farbey
April 18, 2019
Read Transcending the Sum Album Reviews
Transcending the Sum
By Chris May
April 17, 2019