David Liebman is considered a renaissance man in contemporary music with a career stretching nearly fifty years. He has played with masters including Miles Davis, Elvin Jones, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, McCoy Tyner and others; authored books and instructional DVDs which are acknowledged as classics in the jazz field; recorded as a leader in styles ranging from classical to rock to free jazz; awarded NEA Jazz Masters (2011); Jazz Educators Network (JEN) Legends of Jazz; multiple Grammy nominee and Downbeat/Jazz Times Critics/JEN Poll winner (soprano sax); French Order of Arts and Letters; Honorary Doctorate, Sibelius Academy (Helsinki, Finland); Founder (1989) and Artistic Director of the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ); performed on over 500 recordings with over 200 as a leader/co-leader featuring several hundred original compositions.
“Liebman is among the most important saxophonists in contemporary music . . a leader and artist of integrity and independent direction.” Downbeat Magazine
“While others of his ‘60s generation have fallen off their ambition, Liebman has remained dogged about composition and trying different styles…he’s a fighter.” Ben Ratliff, NY Times
“The confidence that Dave Liebman shows in the chemistry of his musicians is justified and each hearing reveals new facets of these musical gems.” Ken Dryden, NYC Jazz Record
“Liebman led his band through a fantastic rendition of Coltrane¹s “India,” underscoring both his thoughtful devotion (researching Coltrane’s music) and the strikingly intuitive rapport of his quintet.”
Jazz Times review of Expansion’s Newport Jazz Festival appearance (2016)
“Expansions Live” is a two CD set featuring electric and acoustic performances.
ONE OF BEST RECORDS OF 2016-DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE (4 STARS)
Two new pieces, “Trajectory” for sax quartet and optional soloist along with “ThreeAs1” for piano and soprano sax both pay homage to 20th century serialism. With elements of improvisation that can be played by either classical or jazz saxophonists, these two works represent the growing trend towards melding the two worlds.
Three educational DVDs by Lieb (through mymusicmasteclass.com) cover material not commonly discussed; “Interpreting Melodies” highlights the various ways a melody can be personalized; “Jazz Rhythm” highlights the essence of what makes jazz rhythm so unique and how to practice it; “Advice for Musicians” is a talk by Lieb in which he discusses topics that young musicians confront concerning the business of making music and art in very practical language.
What does it feel like when you are in the vortex, the eye of the hurricane? To me it is aptly put by the French; you are (at least temporarily) “Le Roi Du Monde.” For those moments when I (as a horn player) am playing in front of a good rhythm section, I am simply “the king of the world”–everything is perfect!! One is in complete control; you can do whatever you want within that space inhabited at the moment. You are truly the master of the universe…not the cliche.. the real deal! Getting to that place takes years of experience and observing those who are ahead of you on line. There is a confidence, an unseen swagger, an assertiveness (even if the music is gentle). It’s so good that all you want is to repeat it… like a junkie…hooked forever.
George Carlin, one of the all time great comedians and observers of the human condition in his autobiography (Last Words) describes the feeling I’m referring to:
“There is nothing happening in the universe outside of that reality and that experience. When besides that I’m being rewarded with all this approval, attention, approbation for something that is solely mine and only I can do. There can’t be anything better than that. To be intensely alone, intensely myself, in control of everything, the center of a self created universe.”
(For more on this subject go to the Education tab; Educational articles;Miscellaneous; “Concerning Entering The “Zone.”)
“I have a story to share with people that I call “Seeing The Light.” It begins with contracting polio as a child, which seemed to set the course of my future in one direction, only to be changed by a pivotal event that ultimately redirected my life’s work. It is a universal story for all people concerning how an extremely powerful and personal experience, once realized, can become a catalyst for change and direction in one’s life.”
FEBRUARY 2017 ITINERARY
EXPANSIONS PLAYS COLTRANE-DEER HEAD INN; DELAWARE WATER GAP, PA – FEB 4
CLINIC AT UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – FEB 6
PERFORMANCE IN SEAL BEACH, CALIFORNIA WITH GRAMMY ALL STAR HIGH SCHOOL BAND AND CHORUS – FEB 7
DUO WITH LIEB’S OLDEST MUSICAL FRIEND, PIANIST MIKE GARSON AT CLUB; SQUASHED GRAPES-VENTURA, CA – FEB 9
EXPANSIONS PLAYS COLTRANE-SMOKE-NEW YORK – FEB 17-19
EXPANSIONS PLAYS COLTRANE-THE CELL, NEW YORK – FEB 25
90|70|50: EXPANSIONS: THE DAVE LIEBMAN GROUP CELEBRATES THE MUSIC OF JOHN COLTRANE
NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman will be holding a year-long commemoration to honorJohn Coltrane’s 90th birthday, Liebman’s 70thbirthday, and the 50th anniversary of Coltrane’s passing.
Lieb is one of the world’s most respected Coltrane performers, scholars, and lecturers. as noted below. Several articles are accessible on the Educational Articles page of his website: