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I'll never forget the first time I heard Lieb's playing on Lookout Farm. We were doing some kind of master class thing at college and my sax teacher drops the needle on this and asks us what we think. I loved it and remember thinking it sounded like early Michael Brecker. Of course, early MB had a lot of the same flavor as Lieb/Grossman, but I wasn't hip to that yet...and in addition to his great soprano/tenor sax, Lieb was a monster on flute!!! Pablo's Story probably my favorite track on that lp....


Later on, Lieb's name just kept coming up - we studied a great article about tone production explaining some of Allard's teachings. I heard some of his other playing and eventually got turned onto Live at the Lighthouse, the hearing of which was like a religious experience.
I don't know that much of all Lieb's recordings, but the things that strike me are that he came along at the perfect time. He was able to hear Coltrane at his peak, played with Miles, was in the great group with Elvin, etc. etc.

Along with others like Corea, Holland, Beirach, Lieb seemed to point in the direction of the future of jazz when he came along - he had spent a lot of time getting everything together old school (studying everyone who came before, practicing incessantly) but was also was into private study and worked to organize information in his own way. One of my favorite saxophone books is Developing a Personal Saxophone Sound, which really detailed a lot of the Allard stuff so well. And, he's contributed so much in the areas of jazz education over the years.

Lieb's generation of players seem to be the guys that took what Miles, Coltrane, Rollins, Getz, Henderson had done and took the next steps. Introducing a broader world music influnce as well as some of the energy electricity and drive of acid rock. And this happened at a time when you could make a record that was unique, fresh, and experimental. Not commercial. He's also one of those musical spirits who seems to follow his own muse and always sticks to his guns. Not as widely known but always widely repected by those who know.

http://www.daveliebman.com/Other_Sites/JazzImprovInterview.htm

Interesting write-up/documentation about Free Life Communication

Page from Dave's site with several articles on jazz history

http://www.allaboutjazz.com/iviews/liebman.htm
 

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You really bring back some great early memories. Lieb was a great early influence along with Brecker, as they made that connection for me between rock/funk/soul and Coltrane. These guys were bringing all these influences together in ways I thought were exciting. They obviously influenced others and you can hear it in most contemporary sax players today.
Lookout Farm was a very pivital recording for me, and then Liebman and Steve Grossman with Elvin Jones.
Liebman's personal commitment and insight to music and education has always been an inspiration. He has that great ability to write and insightfully explain what he does. He is always pushing the envelope. I consider him a true jazzman.
 
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