All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

Dave Liebman/John Stowell: Petite Fleur: The Music of Sidney Bechet

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Saxophonist Dave Liebman leans "outside" for the most part. He came to a measure of fame in the bands of Miles Davis, during one of the influential trumpeter's decidedly outside periods—the 1970s, when Liebman participated in Davis' On The Corner (Columbia Records, 1972), Dark Magus (CBS-Sony, 1975), and Get Up With It (Columbia, 1977).

Post-Davis, the always prolific and adventurous Liebman offered up scores of recordings under his own name. Moving to the new millennium, these include Turnaround: The Music of Ornette Coleman (Jazzwerkstatt, 2009), Lieb Plays The Blues a La Trane (Daybreak, 2010), and Lineage: Rock and Pop Classics Revisited (Whaling City sounds, 2013).

Petite Fleur: The Music of Sidney Bechet, features a teaming of Liebman with guitarist John Stowell, a reunion of sorts—the duo released a terrific set in 2013: Blue Rose (Origin Records), that showcased the duo's adeptness jazz standards and The Great American Songbook.

Petite Fleur is the pair's intimate and unfailingly gorgeous exploration of the music of soprano saxophone pioneer Sidney Bechet, the man who brought the "straight horn" into legitimacy as a jazz vehicle. The New Orleans-born Bechet began his recording career in the early 1920's, well before the advent of alto saxophonist Charlie Parker and the bebop revolution. That era before Parker—before the complex harmonizations of bop—isn't revisited as much as late 1950s thought late 1960s hard bop, mid-twentieth century cool jazz, or Miles Davis mid-sixties modal approach. Petit Feur says that's a shame. The tune that gives this disc it's title is one of Bechet's most famous offerings is visited three times—once as a solo by Lowell; once as a solo by Liebman (on piano); and once as a duo. Direct and beautiful sounds.

A major shaper of the New Orleans tradition, Becht usually played in ensembles that included more horns—a trumpet, a trombone to go along with his soprano saxophone. If Bechet had the melody, the other guys either laid a foundation behind him or they snaked counter melodies around his main theme. This was jazz from New Orleans—exuberant and bursting with life.

Liebman and Stowell take his tunes and reveal their essence, and make them gentle, often understated ruminations. Bechet wrote straightforward, singable melodies that are accentuated in the one horn, one guitar renderings.

As for tone on the soprano sax—Bechet's was big. It has been described as emotional and reckless, intense and passionate. Liebman doesn't go that way here—though he is more than capable. He instead rolls with a surprising (for him and Bechet) gentleness and deftness for the intricacies of the melodies. His tone here is more often than not clean, pure and sweet. Stowell—an adept modern player with a fine discography on Origin Records—lays back in a pre-bop mode himself, with shimmering rhythms and sustain and elastic single note forays. And sometimes he brings a Django Reinhardt mode into the picture.

Liebman and Stowell's Petite Fleur uncovers a different side of Bechet's seminal, now-traditional sound, one that's been glowing under the shining surface all this time.

Track Listing: Petete Fleur; Daniel; When The Sun Sets Down South; Premier Bal; What A Dream; Petite Fleur (John Solo); Passport; Creole Blues; Nous Deux; Si Tu Vois Ma Mere; Summertime; Petite Fleur (Dave Solo).

Personnel: Dave Liebman: soprano saxophone, wood flute, piano; John Stowell: guitar, nylon-string guitar, fretless baritone guitar.

Title: Petite Fleur: The Music of Sidney Bechet | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Origin Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

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

CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz Raconteurs
Read more articles
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
Compassion: The Music Of John Coltrane

Compassion: The Music...

Resonance Records
2017

buy
Expansions Live

Expansions Live

Whaling City Sound
2017

buy
Expansions - The Puzzle

Expansions - The...

Whaling City Sound
2016

buy

Related Articles

Read Faroe CD/LP/Track Review
Faroe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2018
Read The Darkness Of A Fairy Tale CD/LP/Track Review
The Darkness Of A Fairy Tale
by Gareth Thompson
Published: August 15, 2018
Read Stained Glass & Technicolor Grooves CD/LP/Track Review
Stained Glass & Technicolor Grooves
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 15, 2018
Read A Journey CD/LP/Track Review
A Journey
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 15, 2018
Read Decay Of The Angel CD/LP/Track Review
Decay Of The Angel
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Encontros - Orquestra Atlantica CD/LP/Track Review
Encontros - Orquestra Atlantica
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 14, 2018
Read "Tristeza on Guitar" CD/LP/Track Review Tristeza on Guitar
by Chris May
Published: June 28, 2018
Read "Od Ponedelnik" CD/LP/Track Review Od Ponedelnik
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: August 14, 2018
Read "Jazz Triangle 65-77" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Triangle 65-77
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 20, 2017
Read "Songs From A Midnight Room" CD/LP/Track Review Songs From A Midnight Room
by Phil Barnes
Published: July 24, 2018
Read "After Bach" CD/LP/Track Review After Bach
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 2, 2018
Read "Horizons" CD/LP/Track Review Horizons
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 27, 2017