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 ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more