Since the early ‘90s, pianist Phil Markowitz has been recording and performing with sax titan David Liebman amid other stints. Yet at the end of the day, it becomes quite obvious that the duo’s synergy, interaction and second-guessing abilities are aligned. And years of shedding and rehearsals will do it folks, culminating in sessions such as this sprightly little gem.
It’s almost equal parts improvisation and structure as the like-mindedness of these two artists span a wide-reaching musical palate. Liebman - performing on tenor and soprano saxes - and Markowitz are as tight as a glove. They expand and contract themes, amid various swing vamps and structured unison choruses to complement an assortment of subtle surprises. On Liebman’s composition titled "Jung," Markowitz unleashes flailing arpeggios with the grace and focus of a seasoned recital pianist. However, the duo occasionally generates left-of-center motifs to coincide with sublime lyricism and fervent call and response episodes. Nonetheless, the musicians’ ability to combine disparate thematic forays with generous doses of improvisation and off-kilter deviations comes as no surprise. But the invigorating flows and instinctive exchanges just add another dimension to the musicians unifying approach. (Irrefutably recommended.... )