Liebman has become a virtuoso saxophonist, but his is a technique with brains as well as heart and brawn. His saxophone technique owes much to his great teacher, Joe Allard, and he has formalized and expanded what he learned, using many of the same concepts in his teaching and writing. His books on saxophone sound are fundamental, as are his works on jazz harmony and melody. There are countless books out there today that embalm and formalize the jazz musical language of the 1950s and 1960s. Liebman's harmony book is like his playing: it stretches boundaries, always open to new exploratory possibilities.
Dave Liebman brings his quartet to the Firefly Club on Thursday, November 18.
[Originally published in November, 2004.]