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David Liebman

Only ten days after Joachim Kühn had performed solo in the Castle Vilain XIIII, situated just outside the idyllic village of Leut (Limburg-Belgium), the intimate concert hall of the castle with its Louis XV furnishing from ages ago, provided the scenery for Dutch contemporary jazz ensemble Nimbus with special guest David Liebman.

Nimbus is a full acoustic ensemble, except for the electric guitar (played by Florian Zenker), which with its arsenal of sound effects and pedals, adds extra space to this music (mostly Wolfert Brederode’s compositions) where the absence of a bass is visible, but not audible: the bass clarinet (Christof May), Brederode’s left hand on the piano and the bass drum (Eric Ineke) provide sufficient lower notes to complete the ethereal sound of the group in which we find special guest David Liebman on soprano sax.

David Liebman (born in New York, September 4, 1946) began gigging at fourteen, started his own group, Open Sky, with Bob Moses at the end of the sixties and toured with Elvin Jones between 1971 and 1973. From 1973 till 1974, he played in Miles Davis’ band.

JazzReview: Looking at all those records you played on with Marc Copland, Miles Davis, Abbey Lincoln, JoAnne Brackeen, John McLaughlin, Tom Harrell, Steve Swallow, Malachi Thompson, Daniel Humair, Didier Lockwood, Paolo Fresu, I think about the different styles with their typical sound universe. How far away from or how close to each other do you experience them?

David Liebman: "Very good question. First of all, my musical interest reflects my listening experiences during my formative years, i.e. the eclectic sixties. In those days, you could hear all possible kinds of different styles of music on the same radio station in one day. I equally heard world music, rock, jazz, classical music whatever styles, without feeling the need to label them. When I played my own music, I never felt any difficulties moving from a string quartet to a free jazz ensemble, followed by a jazz rock group and a straight ahead jazz combo and back. These were simply different ways of expressing myself musically, only situated as far from each other as idioms can go. Fortunately I lived in New York, which gave me the opportunity to move between all these different styles without sounding too uncommon. I know so many well-known artists who made an art of eclecticism. Miles is the perfect example of someone playing more or less the same all the time, but constantly modifying his environment so that his music never sounded the same."

Jazzreview: Who introduced you to this Dutch band called Nimbus?

David Liebman: "Via Eric Ineke, an established drummer with whom I had already worked in the past. I came in contact with this extremely talented piano player Wolfert Brederode, the main composer of Nimbus. By the way, this concert is our very first live performance together. I like that kind of open, atmospheric, ECM-ish music with its lyrical melodies and its loose rhythm very much."

"Festina Lente" is the name of Nimbus’ latest CD, featuring special guest David Liebman, cellist Tom Van Lent and extra drummer Aimée Povel. (Label: Buzz Records)

Next artists to be expected to perform at the castle Vilain XIIII are Bobo Stenson and Martial Solal.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: David Liebman
  • Subtitle: Words from Limburg-Belgium
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