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...

552

David Liebman / Richie Beirach / Ron McClure / Billy Hart: Redemption - Quest Live in Europe

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
The passage of time has no meaning when it comes to the kind of intimate musical understanding that saxophonist David Liebman and pianist Richie Beirach have shared since first working together in the early '70s. They have collaborated on numerous group projects as well as a series of duet recordings that are in dire need of reissue. Perhaps their longest and most enduring group was Quest, a quartet that released half a dozen albums between 1981 and 1990.

Redemption - Quest Live in Europe documents a 2005 reunion, and in many respects it feels as if no time has passed. The chemistry shared with bassist Ron McClure and drummer Billy Hart remains intact, but this is no backwards-looking get-together. Instead, it's a chance to hear where the past fifteen years have led these musicians, both individually and collectively.

Beirach and Liebman open with a duet take on Monk's "'Round Midnight," beginning in brief abstraction before finding its way to the familiar theme. A feeling of total spontaneity without a safety net pervades Liebman and Beirach's expansive examination of the tune's rhythmic, harmonic and thematic possibilities. Still, no matter how far they take it, what defines the tune is never far away.

Liebman and Beirach have always shared deep roots in the music of John Coltrane. Transcending mere reverence, however, Quest makes latter-day Coltrane's "Ogunde" its own through a more deeply lyrical approach to this tumultuous tone poem. McClure and Hart create a curiously understated maelstrom beneath Beirach's poignant melodism before leading into a more outgoing and extreme solo from Liebman. McClure's supple pizzicato support and visceral arco are a continuing reminder of how unfairly overlooked a player he remains.

Liebman's "WTC" is an abstract exploration into the emotional impact of the September 11 Word Trade Center attack. Dark and foreboding, the chemistry of the quartet gradually builds Liebman's abstruse yet unequivocal theme to a logical point where Beirach becomes the sole voice, segueing into "Steel Prayers," Beirach's mournful yet equally hopeful conclusion.

"Dark Eyes" is Quest at its most swinging, yet there's still an underlying sense of abandon. McClure is the fluid anchor beneath Leibman's powerful tenor, with Hart and Beirach pushing and pulling to create an ongoing tension and release. Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman" becomes a rubato tone poem, with Liebman's wooden flute giving the piece an otherworldly feel.

The title track has been in the group's repertoire since the mid-'80s, but this twenty-minute version of Hart's tune is definitive—a potent blend of free interaction, powerful rhythmic interplay and post-Coltrane modality.

It's uncertain whether or not Quest will continue to work together. Based on Redemption, however, it's clear that there's no shortage of inspiration to keep it a viable and vital concern.


Track Listing: 'Round Midnight; Ogunde; WTC/Steel Prayers; Dark Eyes; Lonely Woman; Redemption.

Personnel: David Liebman: soprano and tenor saxophones, wooden flute; Richie Beirach: piano; Ron McClure: bass; Billy Hart: drums.

Title: Redemption - Quest Live in Europe | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Hatology

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Lifelike CD/LP/Track Review
Lifelike
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Whatever Possessed Me CD/LP/Track Review
Whatever Possessed Me
by Don Phipps
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live At The Fillmore East 1968 CD/LP/Track Review
Live At The Fillmore East 1968
by Doug Collette
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "Landing" CD/LP/Track Review Landing
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Public Access / Headline / Crossings" CD/LP/Track Review Public Access / Headline / Crossings
by John Kelman
Published: March 25, 2018
Read "Magnetism(s)" CD/LP/Track Review Magnetism(s)
by John Sharpe
Published: December 21, 2017
Read "Say It" CD/LP/Track Review Say It
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 17, 2018
Read "Verisimilitude" CD/LP/Track Review Verisimilitude
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 6, 2017
Read "Live At Jazzhus Montmartre" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Jazzhus Montmartre
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 31, 2017