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Album Review

Dave Liebman: Trust And Honesty

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Dave Liebman: Trust And Honesty
Dave Liebman's Trust And Honesty is the third release in Newvelle Records' limited edition audiophile-vinyl autumn 2022 Renewal Collection. It follows Elan Mehler's There Is A Dance and Michael Blake's Combobulate, both previously reviewed on these pages.

Liebman's album is an unassuming little gem. It takes a master musician to take a selection of familiar ballads, give them simple, straightforward readings with an average duration of around four minutes, and come up with something so lovely and compelling. Liebman, more than ably assisted by Ben Monder on guitar and John Hébert on bass, does all of that.

Liebman has essayed a similar venture before, on Classic Ballads (Candid, 1991), in a trio completed by guitarist Vic Juris and bassist Steve Gilmore. On that album, he played soprano saxophone throughout. On Trust And Honesty, he plays soprano on the first seven tracks and flute on the eighth, the closer, Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Zingaro." Monder, heard on electric guitar on the earlier tracks, also switches instruments here, to 12-string acoustic, bringing an understated bossa nova-ish vibe.

Some of the material inevitably brings to mind Liebman's early and mid 1970s employer Miles Davis: Davis and Bill Evans' "Blue In Green," Victor Young's "Stella By Starlight" and Ray Henderson's "Bye Bye Blackbird." Other tunes evoke different, multiple associations: Jimmy Davis, Ram Ramirez and James Sherman's "Lover Man," Harold Arlen's "Come Rain Or Come Shine" and Alec Wilder's "Moon And Sand."

Monder and Hébert drop out for "Blue And Green" but Liebman does not monopolise the album. It is an ensemble affair, all three musicians solo, and on "Stella By Starlight" (also covered on the aforementioned Classic Ballads) he does not enter until over three minutes into the track.

Solace for the soul. Everything one would hope for in a Renewal Collection.

Track Listing

Designs; Lover Man; Come Rain Or Come Shine; Stella By Starlight; Moon And Sand; Blue In Green; Bye Bye Blackbird; Zingaro.

Personnel

Dave Liebman: saxophone, soprano; Ben Monder: guitar; John Hébert: bass.

Additional Instrumentation

Dave Liebman: soprano saxophone, flute (8); Ben Monder: electric guitar, 12-string acoustic guitar (8).

Album information

Title: Trust And Honesty | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Newvelle Records


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