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...

451

David Liebman & Ellery Eskelin: Renewal

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Renewal is the brilliant follow-up to Different But The Same (Hatology, 2003), the debut of saxophonists Dave Liebman and Ellery Eskelin's co-led quartet. Initially perceived as a curious pairing, with Liebman the conservative elder to Eskelin's liberal youth, the two tenors actually share numerous aesthetic similarities, including an affinity for both inside and outside playing. Although separated by a generational divide, they have longstanding ties; Eskelin studied with Liebman in the early eighties.

Liebman's stalwart bassist Tony Marino and Eskelin's frequent collaborator, drummer Jim Black form the reliable rhythm section. The quartet continues to skirt the tenuous divide between free jazz and post-bop, a delicate balancing act they accomplish with vivacious aplomb. A varied set, Renewal features two tunes apiece from the session co-leaders, one each from Black and Marino, a freely improvised ballad and two enthralling takes of Eric Dolphy's classic "Out There."

Much as they did on their debut, Liebman and Eskelin continue to confound stylistic preconceptions. A complementary pair with an uncanny flair for spontaneous harmonies, they elicit untapped aspects from each other with a conversational acumen that avoids hackneyed tenor duels and cutting contests.

Liebman's early studies with Lennie Tristano and Charles Lloyd cemented his mastery of chord changes and traditional forms well before his apprenticeship with Miles Davis in the early seventies, yet his predilection for more exploratory avenues has always hovered in the margins. In the company of like-minded peers, he is joyously unrestrained; he even surpasses Eskelin in intensity with his impassioned solo on the ebullient opener, "Cha."

A veteran of the nascent Knitting Factory scene, Eskelin is renowned as a wild and wooly free improviser, yet his lyrical and harmonic contributions in the company of Liebman are masterfully sublime as he orbits melodic niches with focused moderation.

A pliant rhythm section, Black and Marino veer from roiling intensity to cool understatement. Their raging coda on Black's infectious "Cha" brims with punk rock energy, as Marino's hyperkinetic pizzicato fuels Black's throttling palpitations. The title track is the inverse, an introspective ballad feature for Marino's sinewy bass, tempered with soulful restraint from the horns.

Despite their relatively limited palette, the quartet embraces a wide range of territory. Inspired by a recent trip to Mauritania, Liebman's modal travelogue "Dimi and the Blue Man" ebbs with rich North African harmonies and colorful percussive accents. Eskelin's multi-sectional "The Decider" ranges from somber introspection to brusque, angular free jazz, while the two tenors' circuitous interaction reaches a fevered pitch on the petulant "IC." Stretching the bounds of tradition, Marino's 10 bar blues "Palpable Clock" saunters with a languorous Mingus-like fervor.

As an exploration of the limitless potential found in the two tenor quartet format, Renewal is a stunning example of modern jazz that straddles the line between freedom and form by musicians who transcend expectations.

Visit Dave Liebman and Ellery Eskelin on the web.

Track Listing: Cha; The Decider; Out There (take 2); Renewal; Palpable Clock; Dimi And The Blue Moon; IC; Free Ballad; Out There (take 1).

Personnel: Dave Liebman: tenor saxophone; Ellery Eskelin: tenor saxophone; Tony Marino: double bass; Jim Black: drums and percussion.

Title: Renewal | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Hatology

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
Interviews
Read more articles
Petite Fleur: The Music of Sidney Bechet

Petite Fleur: The...

Origin Records
2018

buy
The Unknowable

The Unknowable

RareNoiseRecords
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
Expansions: The Puzzle

Expansions: The Puzzle

Whaling City Sound
2016

buy

Related Articles

Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Music in Motian CD/LP/Track Review
Music in Motian
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Descansado - Songs For Films CD/LP/Track Review
Descansado - Songs For Films
by John Ephland
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Simbiose CD/LP/Track Review
Simbiose
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 18, 2018
Read For Lew CD/LP/Track Review
For Lew
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 18, 2018
Read "Expedition" CD/LP/Track Review Expedition
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 4, 2017
Read "Faces" CD/LP/Track Review Faces
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Descansado - Songs For Films" CD/LP/Track Review Descansado - Songs For Films
by John Ephland
Published: April 19, 2018
Read "Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks" CD/LP/Track Review Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk" CD/LP/Track Review Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 10, 2017
Read "Lucus" CD/LP/Track Review Lucus
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018