Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Favorites - 2008

Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting some reflections on the recordings that have been in heavy rotation in my house this past year.  The first thing that came to mind was the second recording by The Saxophone Summit - Seraphic Light.

Liebman has been a touchstone in my life.  I remember my first experience with him very vividly.  It was at one of Jamey's camps when I was in high school, probably 1988 or so.  He was in residency for a couple of days, did some lectures, performed one evening.  I was just enamored of everything about him:  his total command of the language, his teaching style and ability everything.  I will always remember his performance of "After the Rain" at that venue One afternoon I was walking across the campus after lunch and Lieb was sitting on a bench alone (this in and of itself kind of knocked me out - here is this heavy cat, just digging the pleasant afternoon...).  I introduced myself as only an awkward 15 year old  could and he was very gracious and we had a very cool talk.  I eventually wound up studying with him at his annual Saxophone Masterclass and I still send recordings to him for comment.  

This project has been very important because it brought three of the major voices and to my ears the three "archetypical" approaches to playing saxophone, tenor specifically, in the post-Coltrane world.  Lovano, Brecker and Lieb all in one place was a dream come true for me. Lovano  is just as important to me.  I have never met him but he has one of my biggest modern day influences.  Brecker was, of course, just superlative in all ways.  When Brecker passed and Ravi stepped in, the energy of the group of course changed, but it also evolved as an ensemble.  This latest recording has probably been my most-listened-to recording of the year.

Here is a nice You Tube clip of the group from the summer.  Really nice statements from Lovano and Ravi.  Lieb, unfortunately gets cut off.

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