|Cornelia Street Cafe, October 8, 2011|
Our first gig together was in October of 2011 (also at Cornelia Street Cafe) was with bassist Gregg August and drummer Otis Brown III. It was billed as a tribute to Steve Lacy, but Lacy was there only in spirit--sort of the way Lester Young is at a Wayne Shorter concert. We did, however, perform two of Lacy's more popular pieces: "Bone," and "Blues for Aida."So it wasn't entirely Lacy-less.
However, once we counted off the first tune, all of those fears and memories of two titans going toe to toe fell by the wayside. And from that moment on it was nothing less than inspiring. It was more like two voices coming together--each with a unique take on improvising and the soprano. It was far from being a cutting session, up an octave.
Moreover, where I thought I would come away from the experience being more impressed by Liebman's keen harmonic sense, it was actually the way in which he played his ideas that made the biggest impression. I felt like I was hearing someone singing or speaking, instead of playing. Gregg August summed it up best when he said that "after a while his sound just permeated the entire room." And I must admit that at this point in my life, the two things that I'm the least impressed with is technical virtuosity and harmonic density. I overdosed on those two show stoppers while I was a student at Berklee. I need to hear emotional depth and a personal approach to keep my interest.
Don't forget to make your reservations, it will be sure to sell out.