The finest tribute to Wayne Shorter on the market today!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
One would be hard pressed to think of a finer saxophonist than NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman to take on the catalog of the legendary Wayne Shorter. Toss in a large ensemble with Big Apple flair and spot on arrangements and the result is a recording that moves from ordinary to extraordinary. The arrangements of Matt Holmquist take some of the more predictable gems of the Shorter legacy and reinvents the sound to a new creative dynamic fitting both the talents of Liebman and Shorter. Big bands are all the rage again, this is not your father's big band!
Again, some artists you never "review" in the traditional sense. You inform and enlighten as best you can while the artist more than covers their own critical analysis with a history that is to be celebrated. Traditional big band? No...An organic large ensemble that works a harmonic exploratory on such tunes as "Infant Eyes" along with "Speak No Evil" and "Black Nile" - Yes! Dynamics, meter and a performance level that elevates big band to the next level puts the Dave Liebman big band into some very special company with other ensembles such as McCoy Tyner.
A first rate performance across the board. Very little to be said that most Liebman fans have not already figured out. Criticism? Too short!
Tracks: Infant Eyes; Speak No Evil; Yes or No; Nefertiti; El Gaucho; Iris; Black Nile.
Personnel: Dave Liebman: Soprano Saxophone, Wooden Flute; Woodwinds - Gunnar Mossblad: Director, Alto Saxophones, Flute; Tom Christensen: Alto Saxophone, Flute; Dave Riekenberg: Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet; Tim Ries: Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet; Chris Karlic: Baritone Saxophone, Clarinet; Trumpet & Flugelhorn: Bob Millikan, Brian Pareschi, Dave Ballou, Danny Cahn, Patrick Dorian; Trombones: Tim Sessions, Scott Reeves (Alto Flugelhorn), Jason Jackson, Jeff Nelson; Rhythm: Jim Ridl: Piano; Vic Juris: Guitar; Tony Marino: Bass; Marko Marcinko: Drums.