CD In a Mellow Tone [David Liebman] (CD 1095788),
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In a Mellow Tone [David Liebman]

  • 1. In a Mellow Tone
    2. Child at Play
    3. Chance of Rain
    4. Sun King, The
    5. Chant
    6. My Heart Will Go On
    7. Romulan Ale
    8. Wow
    9. Change Up
    10. Vamp to Life
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 406

  • Credits
    ProducerDavid Liebman; David Liebman
    EngineerKent Heckman

    David Liebman: David Liebman; Vic Juris (guitar); Tony Marino (double bass, Chapman stick); Jamey Haddad.
    Personnel: David Liebman (wooden flute, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Vic Juris (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, guitar synthesizer); Jamey Haddad (drums, percussion).
    Liner Note Author: David Liebman.
    Recording information: Red Rock Studios, Saylorsburg, PA (2001).
    Photographer: Jamey Haddad.
    Dave Liebman is joined by guitarist Vic Juris, bassist Tony Marino, and drummer Jamey Haddad for this session concentrating primarily on original works. But Liebman has a few surprises in store. Opening the CD on tenor sax, he takes Duke Ellington's normally swinging "In a Mellow Tone" on a radically different path, sidestepping its theme a good part of the time in a loping post-bop arrangement, while retaining its lyricism. Liebman's mournful soprano sax transforms "My Heart Will Go On" (the hit song from the movie Titanic) into a viable jazz vehicle. Liebman and Juris have no trouble negotiating Lennie Tristano's unusual "Wow," an intricate work that obviously tested the skills of the two veterans. Five of the compositions heard on this date are Liebman's. The upbeat "Child at Play" suggests a happy youngster on a breezy spring day without a care in the world, while he switches to wooden flute for his exotic "The Sun King." "Vamp to Life" blends post-bop with Latin rhythms, suggesting a parade, with Liebman's honking tenor sax and Juris' crisp acoustic guitar. Juris contributed two songs of his own. He plays guitar synthesizer on the eerie "Chance of Rain," with Liebman making a late entrance with an especially haunting tenor sax solo. Juris' "Romulan Ale" (he's obviously a fan of the television series Star Trek) is a catchy diversion, though it may be hard for fans of the program to think of these rather reserved and abrupt alien characters in a partying mood, but that's musical license! The superb supporting work of Marino and Haddad is obviously a factor in the consistently high level of playing throughout this enjoyable CD. ~ Ken Dryden

  • Critic Reviews
    JazzTimes (p.147) - "The raw, Coltrane-inspired rowdiness of his youth has, over the years, been tempered by a greater concern with lyric melody. In the process he's become more of a complete player."
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