Lieb Plays Weill

Lieb Plays Weill

David Liebman

Label: Daybreak
Format: CD
Barcode: 0608917543926
Catalog number: DBCHR 75439
Releasedate: 04-09-09
Following up the Alec Wilder tribute in concept (Lieb Plays Wilder), Liebman reharmonized and reorganized the music as he saw fit, of course retaining the melodies and important harmonic highlights. In Weill’s case in fact, the harmony was so rich and full of surprises, it was like working with a brother in arms!
• A tribute to the music of Kurt Weill
• New arrangements by David Liebman
• Succesor of ‘Lieb Plays Wilder’ (DBCHR75214)
David Liebman - soprano and tenor saxophones, wooden flute and piano |Marius Beets - bass | Eric Ineke - drums | Jesse van Ruller - guitar

Kurt Weill could be considered one of the first great eclectic musicians of the 20th century. He did it all-from twelve tone Schoenbergian music to Broadway; from “Mac the Knife” to operas; from Brecht to Lotte Lenya; he was as prolific and contemporary as anyone. This is even more remarkable if you take into account the dramatic period of history and upheavals he experienced as a German and then an expatriate in the U.S. through the first half of the 20th century.

As jazz musicians all members of the Trio have played “Speak Low” countless times and on rarer occasions “September Song” and “This Is New” (Liebman used to play that with Pete LaRoca and Chick Corea). “My Ship” was the flute ballad feature when Liebman was with Elvin Jones in the early ‘70s and who can forget what Gil and Miles did with that tune on “Miles Ahead.”

Needless to say Eric Ineke and Marius Beets love to swing out and as well are completely adaptable to any of the many stylistic turns Liebman likes to take. They know the roots and are great interpreters of any written page. Special guest Jesse van Ruller, a first place award winner in the Thelonious Monk Competition, plays wonderful.

David Liebman was born in Brooklyn, New York on September 4, 1946. He began classical piano lessons at the age of nine and saxophone by twelve. His interest in jazz was sparked by seeing John Coltrane perform live in New York City clubs such as Birdland, the Village Vanguard and the Half Note. Throughout high school and college, Liebman pursued his jazz interest by studying with Joe Allard, Lennie Tristano and Charles Lloyd. Upon graduation from New York University (with a degree in American History), he began to seriously devote himself to the full time pursuit of being a jazz artist.

In the early 1970s, Liebman took the leading role (as President) in organizing several dozen musicians into a cooperative, Free Life Communication which became an integral part of the fertile New York "loft" jazz scene in the early 1970s and was funded by The New York State Council of the Arts and the Space for Innovative Development. After one year spent with Ten Wheel Drive, one of the early jazz fusion groups, Liebman secured the saxophone/flute position with the group of John Coltrane’s drummer, Elvin Jones. Within two years, Liebman reached the zenith of his apprenticeship period when Miles Davis hired him. These years, 1970-74, were filled with tours, recordings and the incredible experience gained by being on the band stand with two masters of jazz. At the same time, Liebman began exploring his own music-first in the Open Sky Trio with Bob Moses and then with pianist Richie Beirach in the group Lookout Farm. This group recorded for the German based ECM label as well as A&M Records while touring the U.S., Canada, India, Japan and Europe.

Over the past decades, Liebman has often been featured with top European jazz artists such as Joachim Kuhn, Daniel Humair, Paolo Fresu, Jon Christensen, Bobo Stenson and in the World View Trio with Austrian drummer Wolfgang Reisenger and French bassist Jean-Paul Celea. His ability to play in so many diverse styles has led to big band and radio orchestra performances with the Brussels Big Band, the WDR and NDR in Germany, the Metropole Orchestra of the Netherlands, the new music group Klangforum from Vienna and most notably, Liebman was the first improviser to perform with the world famous Ensemble Intercontemporain founded by Pierre Boulez in France. On all these occasions, the music is arranged from Liebman's own compositions and improvisations.

Liebman has received several distinguished awards including two NEA grants for composition and performance; an Honorary Doctorate from the Sibelius Acadamy of Helsinki; Finland; a Grammy nomination for Best Solo Performance in 1998 and Best Arrangement for Big Band in 2005; induction into the International Association of Jazz Educator's Hall of Fame in 2000; Artist Grant from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts in 2005; Jazz Journalist Award for Soprano Sax in 2007.