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ALBUM REVIEWS

Steuart Liebig / The Mentones: Angel City Dust

Read "Angel City Dust" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Angel City Dust marks the third outing for bassist Steuart Liebig's largely aggressive and rowdy quartet, where progressive and avant-garde jazz uncannily coexist with high-impact blues-rock. Nevertheless, the musicians can lay claim to a deviating, multi-genre outlook that is morphed into a singular sound, partly due to chromatic harmonica ace Bill Barrett's frontline work with alto saxophonist Tony Atherton. Then Leibig adds another compelling element via his limber bottom-end and fluent unison lines with the soloists.

Drummer Joseph ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Steuart Liebig Tee-Tot Quartet: Always Outnumbered

Read "Always Outnumbered" reviewed by Troy Collins

A Post-Modern Renaissance Man, West Coast bassist Steuart Liebig is a classically trained composer with numerous pieces to his credit, from orchestral scores to works for unaccompanied contrabassguitar. Liebig calls upon myriad sources as inspiration for his varied projects, from his formative experiences in blues and rock bands to early sideman gigs with soul jazz pianist Les McCann and free saxophonist Julius Hemphill.

Liebig brings his expansive compositional knowledge to American roots music on Always Outnumbered, the debut ...

INTERVIEWS

Steuart Liebig: Mentone Mentor Merges into the Fast Lane

Read "Steuart Liebig: Mentone Mentor Merges into the Fast Lane" reviewed by Rex  Butters

On July 27th, LA new music mainstay Steuart Liebig curated a Cryptonight in Culver City dedicated to showcasing several of his many diverse compositional creations under the rubric, Steuart Liebig Concerto Night/ 50th Birthday Megalomania. Co-celebrants and performers included the southland A-List: woodwind multi-instrumentalists Vinny Golia and Andrew Pask, guitarist Nels Cline, trumpeter Jeff Kaiser, bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck, violinist Jeff Gauthier, keyboardists David Witham and Wayne Peet, and percussionist Alex Cline, among others. His second CD with the 21st century ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Steuart Liebig / Stigtette: Delta

Read "Delta" reviewed by John Kelman

While he's experimented with larger ensembles on albums like Pomegranate (Cryptogramophone, 2001), contrabassguitarist Steuart Liebig tends to favour the more intimate context of the quartet. But his groups have been anything but conventional, with his three Quartetto Stig albums featuring violin, trumpet, contrabassguitar, and drums, and last year's Quicksilver (pfMentum) a combination of flute, violin, contrabassguitar, and percussion. Still, despite the unorthodoxy of his instrumentation, there's always been a rhythm section.

Not so on Delta, which, for Liebig, most heavily ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Steuart Liebig/Minim: Quicksilver

Read "Quicksilver" reviewed by John Kelman

Finding a meeting place between contemporary chamber composition and improvisation can be a challenge. All too often artists who spend their time in the more rigid confines of the classical world fail as improvisers, because they work most commonly with formal structure, where expression is defined in terms of subtle nuances in dynamics and phrasing. Pure improvisers, on the other hand, are sometimes too liberal, unable to work comfortably within a more rigorous form.

Still, there are an increasing number ...

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Steuart Liebig: Quicksilver

Read "Quicksilver" reviewed by Robert R. Calder

On this set bass guitarist Steuart Liebig shows none of his rock credentials and nearly no jazz affiliation. It's a set of European concert chamber music, thoroughly organised. It's hard to determine how much is improvised, how much written, how much just a filling in of sketches. Is this a compilation of recordings of various improvisations, rather than the recording of complex compositions which existed before the session?

This range of musical resources wasn't available to, say, Debussy, but its ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Steuart Liebig: Quicksilver

Read "Quicksilver" reviewed by Michael Davis

Bassist/composer Steuart Liebig has been one of LA's most prolific jazz jugglers for years now. At any given time, he may have half a dozen bands in the air, a couple behind his back, and a few improvisational relationships on the side. Over the last decade, he's put out recordings on Nine Winds, Cryptogramophone, Cadence Jazz, and pfMentum, but his release schedule doesn't begin to keep up with his visitations with the muse.

In stark contrast to the bluesy bite ...

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Steuart Liebig/The Mentones: Locustland

Read "Locustland" reviewed by Jim Santella

From the label's name comes a moniker for Steuart Liebig's creative blues band: The Mentones.

Creative improvised music has many forms. This Mentones session combines the swing of jazz with the spirit of the blues. Each of the foursome participates equally, as harmonica and alto saxophone step up to the front line, and bass and drums provide a strong foundation. Liebig's electric bass leads the quartet over hills and valleys, through exotic designs that fit his piece titles ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Steuart Liebig: Pomegranate

Read "Pomegranate" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Even in its quieter moments, Steuart Liebig's new ensemble effort, Pomegranate, projects a sense of excitement. Sometimes it's the spark of discovery, other times it's the joy of companionship, and often (not to be underrated) it's the unexpected pleasure of getting lost and then finding the way back home.

On Pomegranate Liebig's tunes travel along a route consisting of city streets, back roads, and barely marked trails through the woods... and in the end, the path itself bears just as ...