Saxophonist Dave Liebman is an absolute sax virtuoso, but his stylistic range is so wide, and his musical appetites so broad, that you never know what you get when you buy his albums : the music can be mellow and bland, new-agey superficial, yet equally creative or adventurous.
Dave Liebman, Evan Parker, Tony Bianco - Relevance (Red Toucan, 2010) ****½
The second piece starts calm and meditatively, with the two saxes easily finding a common language and tone, but then halfway the piece Bianco seems tired of their musings and increases the tempo, and the intensity of the sax dialogue, which continues to evolve in the best traditions of the "Tenor Madness" album by Sonny Rollins with John Coltrane that Liebman refers to in the liner notes, with the only difference, that what Liebman and Parker get out of their saxes was not only inconceivable in 1957, but it surely must sound as real madness to the two jazz legends. The last track starts with drum rumbling and bamboo flute, then Parker takes over on sax, for some shamanistic yet sensitive playing.
Even if these two virtuosi have never played together, the ease with which they find common ground, in every respect, is stunning. So is the music. Fierce, energetic and surprisingly warm.
Evan Parker - Whitstable Solo (Psi, 2010) ****½
Mateusz Kołakowski & Dave Liebman – Live at Jazz Standard (Fennomedia, 2009) ***½