From Lieb: My Intervals newsletter which is basically a complete rundown of my activities has taken many shapes since the beginning in 1993 as the world of communication has changed. In this portion of the site as you see from the menu entries, you have three sections: scans of the original printed newsletter (1993-2006); the web site blog (2007-2011); from Oct. 2011 ongoing Intervals appears on this Facebook page as you scroll down. If you click the links for each month you can see the entire text and photos. (Thanks to Michael Crowell for his excellent assistance in editing Intervals for Facebook.)
ONE OF A KIND: Pete Cosey was a guy who when you say “one of a kind” it is really true. Moving from Gene Ammons to Miles Davis was quite a stretch back in the '70s when we were together in Miles’ band. Pete didn’t talk much but musically he brought his individual, spacey and imaginative way of playing to the group. I didn’t see him for many years until there was some promotional situation with him, bassist Michael Henderson and myself filmed in the backyard of Miles’ brownstone in Manhattan. Hearing him tell stories of barnstorming across the Midwest made me realize how much of the roots of jazz came from that part of the country. I remember one day in Chicago driving around in a big Cadillac hearse in Pete’s 'hood and having dinner with the clan. Pete was serious and always a gentleman. My condolences to his daughter and the family.
A PIECE OF HISTORY
Trying to copy the last DAT tape I had, it got stuck in the machine. Here is the machine decapitated ... a relic of another age like the Beta tape or black and white TV. DAT tapes were what you walked out of a live recording or studio session. It had replaced cassettes. This is only ten years ago!
RUNNIN’: Returned from “Different But The Same Tour” (photo) last Sunday; to Berklee for the Global Music concert (fantastic students and I enjoyed playing with Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano, George Garzone and Terri Lynne Carrington); played Miles' mid ‘60s repertoire at Seton Hall University in New Jersey on Tuesday; off to Paris for two concerts with Andy Emler Trio; home on Sunday and then off to Miami Dade College for concert and lecture. Jet lag is NOT an option!!
INTERVALS: Blast from the past . . . and Danilo Perez
by David Liebman on Monday, Feb 27
Sometimes I hear a record of mine from the past and it's like a new experience. Thankfully, I am past being self conscious or “sorry” about what I played, accepting that I have and will continue to improve. Of course, I still wish I hadn’t played such-and-such a phrase - that is inevitable. But to the point: I listened today (giving it as a gift) to "Besame Mucho," done for Red Record in 1993 as part of a series with that label featuring myself in various re-arranged standards situations. The title rightfully suggests a “Latin” flavor, which is the core of the recording. My playing is what it is, for sure EXTREMELY intense ( a bit over the top maybe?). Besides the ever excellent drummer, Bill Goodwin, my perennial bassist Tony Marino and percussionists Scott Cutshall and Mark Holen, there is pianist Danilo Perez. He is quite known now for his work over the past decade with Wayne Shorter, but this captures him quite early in his career. He was, of course, very gifted with a natural Latin rhythmic feel, but also a very unusually developed (for that time) sense of harmony in keeping with what I like to do. Just exquisite. I look forward to someday playing with him again.
25th anniversary of Dave Liebman's master class
by David Liebman on Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 10:27am ·
“When students attend David Liebman’s Workshop each summer, they come seeking everything that he offers. His knowledge is immense, as is his experience as a player in the fraternity of the highest order. Music is the breath of his life . . . in fact, breathing is a big subject. Dave examines how the lips, lung and the tongue all create different tonalities, Tones are the colors of inflections, the subplot of the tune; they give density and suggest mystery. Dave is a street talking Zen-master.”
- Larry Fink (photographer)
Dave Liebman's 25th anniversary master class will be held at New York University (NYU) in New York City from July 30 (arrival day) through Aug. 3 (departure day is Aug. 4)
Rooms: Single - $400; Double-$350 (per person), includes 10 meals.
Interested students must send Dave Liebman a CD by mail (no MP3s!!) of their playing in a straight-ahead jazz setting (even with a play-along is acceptable. Live is preferred) to:
2206 Brislin Road
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
Questions: Go to "Contact" tab on Home Page at www.daveliebman.com
INTERVALS: Booker Little, what a loss
by David Liebman on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 1:04pm ·
There were two trumpet players who passed in their twenties leaving a big hole on that instrument for a genearation. First was Clifford Brown, an acknowledged major voice and influence killed in a car crash, followed shortly after by Booker Little, who passed due to a medical problem. Booker was an outstanding composer already at a young age. Two of his recordings are like bibles of three horn writing . . . "Out Front" and "Victory and Sorrow." Clifford was an obvious virtuoso, while Booker had a sound and way of playing that got you on the emotional level from the first note.Here is a really interesting interview that offers a close glimpse into his thinking, and is at the same time sad because you can feel how much potential this young man had:
From Jazz & Pop Magazine, 1970.
(Booker died in 1961, just a few months after this piece was originally published in Metronome.)
Booker Little, twenty-three-year-old composer, arranger and trumpet player (the order is arbitrary, each role has equal importance to him), has lately come to demonstrate, in recordings and as the musical director of the Max Roach group, a talent that promises size.
As is true of many jazz players of his generation, Booker is a product of the conservatory. He’s found that experience to be “invaluable,” but has discovered that it can tend to bind one to conventional concepts and result in an excessive emphasis on the technical aspects of making music – at the cost of the emotional aspects.
“My background has been conventional,” he says, “and maybe because of that I haven’t become a leftist, though my ideas and tastes now might run left to a certain degree. I think the emotional aspect of music is the most important. A lot of guys, and I’ve been guilty of this too, put too much stress on the technical, and that’s not hard to do when you’ve learned how to play in school. I think this goes along with why a lot of trumpet players have come up lately sounding one way – like Clifford Brown. They say everyone’s imitating him now and that’s true in a way and in a way it isn’t. Clifford was a flashy trumpet player who articulated very well. He started a kind of trumpet playing that’s partly an outgrowth of Fats Navarro – insofar as having a big sound, articulating well all over the instrument and having an even sound from top to bottom. Most of the younger guys, like myself, who started playing in school, they’d have the instructor driving at them, ‘Okay, you gotta have a big sound, you gotta have this and that.’ Consequently if they came in sounding like Miles, which is beautiful for jazz, they flunked the lessons. They turned toward someone else then, like Clifford. Donald Byrd is a schooled trumpet player and though he’s away from that now he’ll never really be able to throw it out of his mind.”
Booker was born into a musical family in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 2, 1938. His father was a trombonist in a Baptist church band and his mother was a church organist; an older sister sang for a time with the London Opera Company. Booker began playing trumpet in his high school “classical” and marching band. “At first I was interested in the clarinet, but the instructor felt trumpet would be best – because he needed trumpet players. Jazz records were very scarce in Memphis at that time, but there were a lot of guys who were interested in it. George Coleman was one. He was probably one of the most progressive people around town at the time, and there was also Louis Smith, who is my cousin. They were listening. I was rather close to George because he was in the same high school. He was sharp enough to take things off records. I was fourteen or fifteen then, and he sort of got me started. I played with some groups around town and then, when I graduated, I went to the Chicago Conservatory. Being in Chicago gave me greater exposure to things, because guys were always coming through.”
At the conservatory Booker majored in trumpet and minored in piano. He also studied theory, composition and orchestration. In his third year, when he was nineteen, he met Max Roach through Sonny Rollins, and not long afterwards Roach called him for a record date. About that time he decided to quit school. “I gave it up because I realized there wasn’t much I could do as a far as being a ‘classical’ musician was concerned.” The record date eventually resulted in a regular working association with Roach’s quintet, an association that continued through 1958 when Booker took a leave of absence to freelance in New York. During the latter period he gigged and/or recorded with John Coltrane, Sonny Stitt, Slide Hampton, Ed Shaugnessy, Teddy Charles, Mal Waldron and Abbey Lincoln, among others. He also recorded an album for United Artists and another for Time. In early 1960 he rejoined Roach.
Of late, however, Booker has been considering the possibility of forming his own group. Its repertoire would consist exclusively of his own compositions.
“I think I’ve found the way I want to play on my instrument and now I want to concentrate on the sound I’d like to build around it.” Currently, Booker has a working agreement with Candid Records, for whom he’s already made an album (with Eric Dolphy) comprised entirely of his own writing. At the time we spoke, he was working on the orchestrations for an album that will feature Coleman Hawkins “in a modern setting.”
“I don’t think there’s very much of my work prior to these Candid albums that expresses how I feel now about what I want to do.”
What Booker wants to accomplish as a composer involves drawing on his knowledge of what he terms “the legitimate aspects of writing” without being confined by them.
“Those who have no idea about how ‘classical’ music is constructed are definitely at a loss – it’s a definite foundation. I don’t think it should be carried to the point where you have to say this is this kind of phrase and this is that kind of development. Deep in your mind though you should maintain these thoughts and not just throw a phrase in without it answering itself or leading to something else. Say I know the chord I want the piano player to play and I give it to him. But the other instruments won’t necessarily be playing that chord. Most of the guys who are thinking completely conventionally, they’d say, ‘Well maybe you’ve got a wrong note in there.’ But I can’t think in terms of wrong notes. In fact I don’t hear any notes as being wrong. It’s a matter of knowing how to integrate the notes and, if you must, how to resolve them. Because if you insist that this note or that note is wrong I think you’re thinking completely conventionally – technically – and forgetting about emotion. And I don’t think anyone would deny that more emotion can be reached and expressed outside of the conventional diatonic way of playing which consists of whole notes and half steps. There’s more emotion that can be expressed by the notes that are played flat. Say it’s a B flat, but you play it flat and it’s not an A and it’s not a B flat, it’s between them. And in places you can employ that and I think it has great value. Or say the clash of a B natural against a B flat.
“I’m interested in putting sounds against sounds and I’m interested in freedom also. But I have respect for form. I think sections of a piece can sometimes be played, say, on a basic undersound which doesn’t limit the soloist. You wouldn’t necessarily tell him how many choruses to take. You say ‘You blow awhile. You try and build your story and resolve it.’ One thing I wrote for [producer] Nat Hentoff on the Candid date is like that completely. The undervoices were playing a motif and I just improvised on the sound. It had a definite mood, and the mood didn’t warrant my running all over the trumpet.
“There are a lot of people who think the new direction should be to abolish form and others who feel that it should be to unite the ‘classical’ forms with jazz. The relationship between ‘classical’ and jazz is close, but I don’t think you have to employ a ‘classical’ technique as such to get something that jells. I think the main reason a lot of people are going into it is because jazz hasn’t developed as far as composition is concerned. It’s usually a twelve-bar written segment and then everybody goes for themselves. Personally, I don’t think it’s necessary to do either of these things to really accomplish something different and new. And I think sometimes a conscious effort to do something different and new isn’t as good as a natural effort.
“In my own work I’m particularly interested in the possibilities of dissonance. If it’s a consonant sound it’s going to sound smaller. The more dissonance, the bigger the sound. It sounds like more horns, in fact, you can’t always tell how many more there are. And your shadings can be more varied. Dissonance is a tool to achieve these things.”
Booker has been impressed by the writing of Charlie Mingus. “He’s been thinking rhythmically, in terms of breaking up rhythms, and that interests me. He’s definitely a giant as far as writing is concerned. He stems from another giant, Duke Ellington. Duke is one of my favorite writers. He’s a man who’s worked at a sound and never wavered, and his musical personality is always identifiable as his. Slide Hampton has impressed me when he’s writing for no other reason than himself. He has a terrific mind. And I thought the Gunther Shuller Atlantic date with Ornette Coleman had some terrific writing.”
As a trumpet player, Booker concedes that his major influence, much for the reasons stated earlier, has been Clifford Brown. “Yes, to a degree I’m afraid there was an influence, but I do think I’ve rid myself of it. I remember when I was living at the YMCA in Chicago. Sonny Rollins was living there too. You had to go down to the basement to practice, and once he heard me listening to a Clifford Brown record. I was playing it over and over again, and I guess I was driving him mad, because he was trying to practice himself. He asked me what I was doing and I told him I was trying to learn the melody. He told me that it was probably best that I go buy a sheet on it, because if I kept listening to the way he played it, it was going to rub off, and I was going to play it the same way. I never forgot what he said, though I did continue listening to Clifford Brown records. Brownie was the easiest guy for me to really get close to, as far as finding out what was going on was concerned. I like the way he played his lines.”
Booker is preoccupied with remaining within the mood of a piece when he solos.
“Jazz soloing, as a result of the methods Bird introduced, started a very involved technique, and Bird and some of the others reached a very high degree of emotion, higher than most of the soloists to follow. Sonny Rollins has reached the same height, probably because he was around to hear them. He not only heard them say this is an A major or a D seventh, he also heard, firsthand, what they did with it – the kind of emotion they got out of it. A guy learning as I learned – say, the first chord in the bridge is an A-minor seventh – well, the first thing he had to do was figure out every note in the A-minor seventh, and when it came to playing it, he had to make sure he hit all the right notes. I think this is important, but not half as important as concentrating on staying within the mood. Say you’re playing ‘Blue Monday.’ I don’t think it’s saying very much if you start to play it and then just rip and run all over the instrument. But again, you can get so involved with the technical aspect of playing that you do that – it’s not hard for that to happen. Miles Davis minimized how much trumpet playing you could do as much as anybody could minimize it, But many people have a misconception about him. They say he can’t play trumpet. But he’s a fantastic trumpet player with a fantastic mind. He was one of the first guys around who didn’t have to play every note in an A-minor chord to give you the impression of an A-minor chord and to get the mood that the section needed.
“There’s so many areas of trumpet playing that can be employed, and they don’t have a lot to do with the ‘legitimate’ end of trumpet playing as such. There are a lot of notes between notes – they call them ‘quarter-tones.’ They’re not really quarter-tones, but notes that are above and below the 440 notes. This is something Miles employs a lot, and I doubt that he even thinks about it.”
As a result of the influence Clifford Brown has exerted on the younger trumpet players, Booker said that he believes there is a serious need for everyone to break away and find his individuality.
“The problem isn’t only with trumpet players, and that’s why I think it’s very good that Ornette Coleman and some other people have come on the scene. Ornette has his own ideas about what makes what and I don’t think it’s proper to put him down. I do think it’s okay to talk about what his music has and what it doesn’t have. I have more conventional ideas about what makes what than he does, but I think I understand clearly what he’s doing, and it’s good. It’s an honest effort. It’s like a guy who puts sponges on his feet, steps in paint and then smears it on the canvas. If he really feels it that way, that’s it. At one end you have a guy who does it from a purely intellectual aspect and at the other a guy who does it from a purely emotional aspect. Sometimes both arrive at the same thing. I think Bird was more intellectual in his playing than Ornette is. I think Ornette puts down whatever he feels. But I think both ways have worth, though I don’t believe Ornette himself has the worth of a Charlie Parker. Bird consumed everything, all that has been before and then advanced it all, and I don’t think Ornette has consumed everything, though I’m sure he’s heard it. I do think what Ornette’s doing is part of what jazz will become.
“You know, there are so many things to get to. Most people who don’t listen often say jazz is a continuous pounding and this is something I can feel too. I think there are so many emotions that can’t be expressed with that going on. There are certain feelings that you might want to express that you could probably express better if you didn’t have that beat. Up until now if you wanted to express a sad or moody feeling you would play the blues. But it can be done in other ways.”
Booker is concerning himself with exploring some of the “other” ways. If his aesthetic remains bound to the conventional precepts in which his education is rooted, he is trying to find out how to make his conservatory education nourish rather than taint or restrain his music. His most recent work both in person and on records is evidence of his certainly growing skill and courage as a composer and instrumentalist who is likely to achieve real stature.
INTERVALS: Emperor Jones II
by David Liebman on Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 8:58am ·
There is a 37-minute YouTube film going around that has generated a lot of positive feedback from musicians. It is a live taping from a TV show from Paris in 1972 with the Elvin Jones Quartet featuring Gene Perla on bass, Steve Grossman on tenor, Elvin, of course, and myself on flute, soprano and tenor.
Besides being the earliest clip of me playing, it captures a band that has certainly left a legacy, especially for saxophonists. Steve and I were among the first wave of post-Coltrane players who were directly affected at a young age by the master. It is a another story when you are older and established if you hear one of your contemporaries playing something different because you calculate that with everything else you have heard that musician play over the years. But with a young musician, there is no or very little history, so the effect is quite potent.
Musicians ask me if Steve and I worked our stuff out at all. All I can say is that we didn’t talk at all about what we played and we spent a lot of time together besides on the bandstand with Elvin, playing a hours of free jazz in my loft in that period. What we played was what we could gather from Trane by listening, trial and error and mostly playing A LOT. It didn’t hurt to be with the engine of the Col-TRAIN, but, on the other hand, one thing I really noticed on the video was that Elvin sounds completely different than he did with Trane, which is inevitable given the material we were playing. The most striking thing about the film is how great Elvin sounds, how confident he is, how the drums sound so orchestral and, of course, his enormous power. He and the band were really together as you can tell. We were tight and knew what the arrangements were and how they went. This was basically a club band, maybe one of the last in that ‘70s period to play a lot of consecutive nights in clubs, working things out. I must say that my flute playing was better than I remember it. I will never forget those days being with Elvin, the fun we had, the camaraderie in the band and of course the mentoring experience that I got from him. What luck!!
by David Liebman on Monday, February 13, 2012 at 7:43am ·
With John Abercrombie, Drew Gress, Marc Copland and Jabali Billy Hart. The name of the group is apropos since the connections here go back decades. I remember living in a loft on Warren Street in the Apple near the World Trade Center in the early ‘70s and the only other “residents’ on the street were John and Marc sharing a loft nearby.I remember Marc playing electrified saxophone (Varitone?), fast as hell, burning the candle hard all day. This was before he officially became a pianist. John was on my first record as a leader, “Lookout Farm” which is where I believe he first met ECM’s Manfred Eicher with whom he has been recording exclusively since. We just finished a great week at Birdland, the best club by far in New York for both musicians and audience alike. First of all a comment about the audience. I have been noting lately about the “graying” aspect of our audience but here is a an exception and somehow at least in this club when I play there it is noticeable over the past several years. Birdland is not cheap for a set. I see many couples, well-dressed folks by the way, and of course the usual fan base, especially for guitar hero Abercrombie. Most of the people there know who we are collectively if not individually, probably from recordings. There are a substantial number of tourists obviously who come to New York just for music they will not see home. But most of all is the absolute COMPLETE silence while we play. And I am talking an eating/drinking situation (where a club makes its real money) with several hundred people in attendance since we did good business. This is a heartening sign for sure. Musically we play a smattering of standards (many from the ‘60s Miles book) and originals, mostly harmonically saturated with the lydian/dorian scale colors so prevalent in the post modern period. John’s melodies in particular have a way of sticking in your memory base . . . falling asleep and waking up with the melody going around your brain. The vibe is quite mellow and uncluttered which demands the utmost control of dynamics in my case, not too far away from playing in a duo situation which dramatically underscores that aspect. Marc is quite a soft player overall, but he can turn the pots on when needed. Most of all this gig depends on the bass/drum team to set the mood. I have always loved Drew’s sound above other wonderful attributes. He gets a deep /resonant sound, different from a Rufus Reid or Buster Williams tone . . . clear and deep at the same time and most of all, sustained. Finally it is as always my man Jabali on the drums who never approaches a tune the same way twice, and basically controls the whole ambiance with taste, discretion and sophistication. Thanks for a great week guys.
INTERVALS: More wishes from the Jazz Baroness
by David Liebman on Friday, February 10, 2012 at 11:44am ·
More from Pannonica de Koenigswarter's "Three Wishes - An Intimate Look at Jazz Greats" (Henry Adams Inc.)
In the book, besides some amazing and intimate photos of jazz cats, the Jazz Baroness asked the guys to name their “three pet wishes.” I am going to quote some of the guys randomly over the next months. The answers are really amazing.
Philly Joe Jones:
1,2 and 3 -“Money, money,money!!”
1 - Not to play for money
2 - Permanent peace in the world
3 - A world where you don’t need a passport
1 - Perfect health
2 - Freat success in my music
3 - To be extremely rich
1 - Peace on earth
2 - Complete acceptance and recognition of tis music as a pure art form.
3 - To see an end of suffering for humanity.
1 - I wish I knew myself better
2 - I wish there was more love in the world
3 - I wish to live to see the day when jazz is recognized
1-That you loved me
2-That Art Jr. gets through this shit that he’s in
3-That I get divorced and we get married
INTERVALS: 21st Century to the roots in Finland
by David Liebman on Monday, February 6, 2012 at 12:21pm ·
I had a great week in Helsinki, Finland, basking in below zero weather, persistent snow, a fall on the ice, late departure back to Newark meaning three flights yesterday. BUT I had quite a last night on Saturday.
I performed with the Sibelius Academy Orchestra (on the same level as Manhattan School Orchestra) two pieces written for me replete with wonderful textures gorgeously played and conducted. I have trouble with the names but Sonny Henila’s piece had several tone rows for me to improvise over, as well as a duo improvisation section with pitched gongs.
Outi, the other composer, transcribed Richie Beirach’s piano intro to my tune “Hymn For Mom” from the recent duo release “Unspoken” for the first part, combining it with my solo soprano intro from “Invocation” on our previous duo record from 1991 (“Chant”) calling the piece “Liebklinge,” meaning "Lieb sound." Thank you Outi! Her orchestration was magnificent, adding folk harp and other beautiful percussion sounds. I really appreciate the work these composers and the orchestra did on some difficult music.
Talking difficult, there was a violin concerto before my part written by a famous, living Finnish composer that was unbelievably difficult. I have to get the name and all that later, but a student played it and man . . . This must have taken weeks of practice. As some folks might know that Finnish conductors are quite numerous around the world coming from what I found out was a pretty intense and long standing conducting program at Sibelius. By the way, the jazz department is very small with 25 hand-selected students. They take on five students a year and I must say that the level of our conversations was very high. When I play something to make a point I always ask what the students hear on all levels . . . technical, content and vibe. These folks, normally quite reticent as the Finnish society in general is, were right on the money with depth and complete accuracy.
One example: I use a Ben Webster track of “My Funny Valentine” to make a point about melody, playing along with Bird, Miles and Armstrong tracks. I asked what they felt from Ben’s interpretation, and one student said, “Melancholy, but with hope . . . therefore romantic.” YES!!
I spent other nights playing a three-horn gig with some of my old charts doing “PIcadilly Lilly” “Move On Some” “Tomorrow’s Expectations” and others; sitting in at a new club called Koko with some great guys. And after the classical concert on Saturday, I went down the hall and played with a blues band. This all took place along with the master classes at the new Music Center in Helsinki, which is fantastic, incorporating all different size venues and atmospheres. The main hall where I played was the best acoustics I ever heard … no microphones … 1,700 people. I just listened to the rough recording and the instruments were clear as a bell. They know how to do things right for arts in Finland. My appreciation to Ulla, Outi, Sonny, the conductor Santos, Eero, Timo, Jukkis, both Jussiss and all the students and fellow musicians I played with this great week. Excuse me for not getting all the names perfect.
Note: In April I will be doing a piece written by my co-biographer (coming soon “What It Is” on Scarecrow Press), the great Lewis Porter with the Harvard University Orchestra. I am warmed up now!
NEWK ON FIRE: There are a few places here (one before 5 minutes) where Sonny Rollins plays the SHIT … I mean what my students have heard me say when I describe things you can do as IN the time (meaning mostly 8th note bases); AGAINST the time (most simplistically a quarter note triplet or three over two): and what he does here, which is OVER the time … just flying over the pulse but with notes and chord structure absolutely intact. I have been trying to do this for the past 20 years. And, by the way, AT’s left hand is what I try to talk to all the young cats about meaning the “patter,” the “in betweens”… so great for a horn player … so loose. I think this is from 1965, which for me is when Sonny is at his live best, especially ”Live at Ronnie Scott’s,” which, in spite of not the most killing rhythm section, still Sonny is free as a bird. And that does remind me of hearing tracks with Charlie Parker playing with much less competent rhythm sections than he without a thought!
From my man Ronan Guilfoyle . . . as always, right on the money. Up in freezing Helsinki teaching and playing with wonderful orchestra of students at Sibelius Academy doing two pieces written for me...talking textural world.
Mostly music: F**k The Filesharing Websites (and their apologists.........)ronanguil.blogspot.com
INTERVALS: The older the better?
by David Liebman on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 3:45pm
I played a concert a couple of weeks ago in one of the ballrooms at the Symphony Hall in Allentown, PA, quite near my home with a cut down version of the usual DL Group, exchanging pianist Phil Markowitz for Vic Juris who is on tour in Europe. I did the same gig last year with the regular group and was invited back, all under the auspices of a kind of community jazz association, something we see from time to time in the States. Since last year I played my normal repertoire of that time, I decided to make things easy with Phil and play one set each of Miles and Coltrane repertoire. There were several hundred people there with the audience definitely in the “graying” mode, something we see more and more these days, especially in America and Western Europe. These are definitely retired-type people, elderly folks out on a Friday night in a less than desirable neighborhood to support their association and enjoy “jazz.” Most of the groups they have are local and middle of the road to say the least. I pulled no punches, playing everything from a fast ”Impressions” to “Milestones” and more. These people really GOT it. They were completely focused, quiet and appreciative. Maybe it’s because I am a “senior citizen” and they relate to me on some level . . . interesting to ponder!! In any case, nice gig, close to home … which is not the case now.
After a week in Sweden with a big band doing arrangements by Mats Holmsquist, someone I did not know personally but did check out his project Chick Corea’s music done a few years ago. We spent the week doing the music of Wayne Shorter, arranged by Mats.
Tonight I am in Helsinki and will be in Finland for a week performing with an orchestra from the Sibelius Academy (where I received an Honorary Doctorate years ago) playing new music written for me. I will be teaching as well.
One thing is for sure . . . dark, cold and snow abounds!!
INTERVALS: Wayning in
by David Liebman on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 12:20pm
I have spent this week performing with an excellent big band playing arrangements by Mats Holmquist of Wayne Shorter tunes all across Sweden, including tonight at Fasching Jazz Club in Stockholm. The music is challenging, as it should be with such high-class material. The songs chosen come mostly from the mid-'60s Blue Note recordings, with a few from the Miles Davis era, and most are well-known to jazz players. I have never played these tunes on a steady basis and as often happens when one has a chance to steadily digest material, it's depth becomes very clear.The songs include beautiful ballads "Iris" and "Infant Eyes"; swingers "Yes or No," "ESP," "Black Nile," "Speak No Evil," "Witch Hunt"; the beautiful melody of "Neferttiti" and quirky "El Gaucho." These tunes are full of twists and turns on multiple levels . . . harmonically, melodically and from the standpoint of form. The improvisational challenge, which was so dramatic in the '60s when they first appeared, is how to navigate the unusual progressions sensibly without just " running" changes. Mats' arrangements reflect the Waynistic curves in the road, presenting quite a challenge to his band. As I have always contended, Wayne Shorter is and has been THE major composer of the modern era of jazz and presently continues to create wonderful music. This observation can be extended to his playing, which stylistically remains one of the major influences on improvisers across the idiomatic board, beginning with his Art Blakey early '60s period thru Miles Davis, the Blue Note recordings, Weather Report and his own groups.
I'm having a great time with these songs. Everyone loves Wayne!!
INTERVALS: The Beatles - believe it or not
by David Liebman on Monday, January 23, 2012 at 2:43pm
Those who have kept tabs on me over the years know that I have recorded quite a few of what I refer to as “repertoire” recordings. This means the music of a composer who wrote material jazz musicians refer to as “standards,” most often but not exclusively used for Hollywood movies, Broadway shows or just popular music as well as jazz classics. These projects have ranged from Puccini to Jobim, Monk to Wilder, Weill to Porter, "West Side Story" and, of course, Miles, Trane and Ornette. The arrangements (for that is what this process is) have on a technical level dealt with everything from altering the harmony, the rhythm, the form and in some cases even parts of the melody. On the other hand for some projects I have played the tunes pretty much as written. I do these arrangements knowing that I will play the music myself, therefore delving into musical challenges that I want to work on. Most of all, this particular process informs me as to how composers think and work out their material. Other obvious aspects of rearranging standards are that it relieves the onus of writing original tunes for at least a period of time. With a so-called "standard," there is some information available meaning the melody and harmony for sure in most cases. Also, as far as the potential listener is concerned, there is at least a bit of the recognition factor possible, depending on how far away from the original one takes the process. Finally, there is the fact that with exceptions, these tunes have stood the test of time. I always learn something, from Puccini’s soaring melodic lines to Jobim’s exquisite balance between harmony and melody, to Monk’s economic use of space and so forth. In Jobim’s case, even though the lyrics are in Portuguese, (not withstanding that the English translations may or may not be accurate, something which disturbed Jobim quite a bit from what I understand), the whole package just feels right. For my taste his music consistently achieved a balance between all the structural elements of composing popular songs, not to mention the great Brazilian based rhythms which envelops it all. Jobim is the top of the line for me. There is a reason why his tunes are heard in elevators and shopping malls. An interesting fact is that at least for a certain time period the Jobim catalogue was the most profitable of all on a yearly basis from the standpoint of airplay. It is great music that even amateurs appreciate, a true test of universality by the way.
My process for such projects is very organized. I go through as many song books as I can, playing the music at the piano. I am looking for something in the melody or/and harmony that seems interesting, that will open a line of exploration. A potential pile develops that gets whittled down and leads eventually to small changes written directly on the lead sheets . . . all hand written by the way (no computer). Soon after I write a lead sheet, which becomes the first draft. Over the next months I will go to the piano and check these tunes over and over, sometimes altering them drastically from the first draft, finally coming up with an arrangement and rhythmic feel deemed appropriate depending upon the instrumentation and personnel that will play with me.
For an upcoming recording project for a Dutch company that I have recorded repertoire projects in the past (Alec Wilder and Kurt Weill), I am delving into the Beatles’ music. I am not jumping on the “pop” bandwagon . . . Dave is not going commercial!! Yes, there are good jazz artists who have taken pop tunes from the recent past and been commercially and maybe artistically successful with them, but this is not my intention. It is just a body of music that I want to address. There is a biographical tie here because I grew up with the Beatles, both musically and socially for what they represented at the time. Elvis Presley symbolized a break from the rigid conformity of the 1950s and the Beatles carried that on further in the ‘60s, if only because of their hair style at the time, which is hard to believe but true. In particular their lyrics evolved as they personally and musically matured from “I Want To Hold Your Hand” to “Fool on the Hill,” etc. The message of the lyrics was at times cute, philosophical, whimsical, even spiritual . . .all over the map. Their melodies, though not as deep as other notable composers I have mentioned, did handily support the lyrics. As stand alone chords, the harmonies were very basic, quite church-like, while the rhythm is nothing special. Interestingly, George Harrison’s tunes, much less in the count than the Lennon/McCartney combination shine for their ingenuity and emotional and lyrical depth. The point is that the whole package is of a whole and their music is if anything stylistically consistent. Even physically on the page, much like Monk or Ornette tunes, they all look more or less the same . . . two pages, a section with a bridge and a coda. Note the Beatles’ incredibly prolific output in a less than a ten-year period, numbering hundreds of tunes. They chronicled their lives and many of ours, and were seen for better or worse as an embodiment of the changes and social upheavals of the period. There was no going back to Eddie Fisher or apple pie!
For this recording there is no chord instrument, though I will play piano on a track or two. With the great drummer Eric Ineke and bassist Marius Beets along with the very excellent John Ruocco on clarinet, it is quite a challenge with this instrumentation to find the right three notes for expressing the content. The most difficult job is to find something to improvise over in the songs themselves as we are accustomed to doing in jazz. I am not changing the original music too much and so far it seems like the ambiance will be quite mellow and lyrical, putting the melodies front and center, though one never knows what the rhythm section will contribute till I get to the session in April.
Any great artist(s) knows what one does well, focusing in on that with constant refining and re-tooling. The point is to truly value one’s limitations in an honest, non-egotistical or judgmental way. It is the old saying of the glass half full or empty…all a matter of perspective.
INTERVALS: Do jazz critics need to know how to play jazz?
by David Liebman on Monday, January 16, 2012 at 2:00pm
This is a question I am often asked. Obviously it is nice and a bit more honest when someone who is commenting on one's work knows what you are doing to some extent. Of course a critic should be conversant with at least a minimum of knowledge concerning the technical aspects that the people he is critiquing are dealing with. This means speaking the language to some degree . . . it goes without saying. On the other hand, too much knowledge can be a dangerous thing and when someone is an "arm-chair quarterback" (sports expression), there is an inherent danger of thinking FOR the subject: " I would've, could've, might've played this at that point in the piece, etc., etc..... " This is not right. To be fair, shedding light on how an interested, experienced, non-musician listener reacts to one's art can be of definite value. I tell students to put themselves in the audience (what theater people call the fourth wall) when they present something . . . meaning how is what you played perceived "out there?"
I believe in review, not criticism, meaning information, comment, elucidation, historical precedent, stylistic considerations, etc. but please no value judgments. We (the performer) know better than anyone what is going on. No one but us knows the real deal, so let's keep things nice and clean concerning the role of a critic. Dan Morgenstern, Whitney Balliett, Leonard Feather were models in the jazz world . . . Alex Ross at present for classical, etc., etc.. The problem is money. If a magazine or whomever pays low, they get low. Translation . . . non-experienced, not-ready-for-prime-time writers who aren't qualified or experienced enough yet and who in a lot of cases need to learn how to write decent prose. Being a "critic" is a serious job with a big learning curve. Done well, what we call criticism has an important role in the history of an art form. It places everything in the scheme of things, historically and contemporaneously when done well.
INTERVALS: NEA Jazz Masters Ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center
by David Liebman on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 1:52pm
Of course nothing could surpass last year when I received this award, but taking part musically on one of the tunes Tuesday night with the JALC (playing "Senor Blues," was great in itself, specially in the company of Candido Camera on congas, Toshiko Akiyoshi on piano and young trumpet wiz Ambrose Akinmusire (former student in Master's program at MSM) was wonderful. Awards this year went to my favorite all-time drummer, Jack DeJohnette (whose several fills on "When Will the Blues Leave" was the musical highlight for me); the timeless Sheila Jordan; Chicago master Von Freeman; jazz advocate Jimmy Owens and bassist Charlie Haden. The highlight was the luncheon hosted by BMI where all past masters are invited. Just seeing everyone in the same room, hugging and greeting each other, recalling gigs and telling stories, is truly heartwarming.
This year, the 30th anniversary of the award program, had the highest number of participants with the average age being 83 years old. When one thinks of the dues this older generation paid in discrimination (mostly Afro Americans), in travel hardships compared to today, being around smoke, dope and whatever, the fact that there are so many cats in their eighth and ninth decade is amazing . . . Yusef Lateef and Jon Hendricks in their 90s looking great; Roy Haynes at 86 dressed sharper than anyone; Frank Wess in his late 80s swinging his ass off.
It's a grand event and celebrates this art form the way it should be done. The good news politically is that it appears that funding for the program will continue in some form into the near future.
The ceremony can be seen at: www.jalc.org/neajazzmasters. My portion of the program begins at 52:30 on the film.
Dave Liebman at the National Endowment Jazz Masters Awards Ceremony & Concert
by David Liebman on Monday, January 9, 2012 at 8:08am
I will be performing one tune ("Senor Blues") with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Toshiko Akioshi, Candido and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire at the National Endowment Jazz Masters Awards Ceremony & Concert tomorrow at 7:30 EST (Tuesday, Jan 10). The performance and ceremony will be webcast live at: www.jalc.org/neajazzmasters. A video archive of the concert will also be available following the event there. The event also will be broadcast live on WBGO Jazz 88.3FM, SiriusXM Satellite Radio's Real Jazz Channel XM67 and at NPR Music.
One of the great writers and pianists in jazz, Clare Fisher, has passed on. His tune "Pensativa" ranks among the top compositions in my book with a melody and harmony that match beautifully. His arrangement of the tune is one of the pieces I play for my class as a model of what "beautiful" music is. Pianists in the know have always recognized Fisher as an important and individual voice.
Incredibly, this short clip from the BBC tells the ongoing saga of John Coltrane’s home in Long Island, New York and the efforts to save it as a landmark and potential cultural center. A few years ago Caris and myself were invited to see the home and Trane’s resting place in a nearby cemetery. The clip accurately portrays the feeling that something special went on in that house. As a t...
The house, where Coltrane also spent the last years of his life before dying from liver cancer, has been placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's most-endangered list.
REST IN PEACE MY BROTHER: Today marks the fifth anniversary of Mike Brecker’s passing… a voice that was heard around the world and will never be forgotten, a dear friend with whom I shared wonderful musical moments from the 1960s to his passing and who truly knew what Coltrane meant in the scheme of things. Michael recognized the value of music, of jazz music specifically, beyond the material world. One might not expect such an awareness because of his extraordinary success crossing over to the pop world and what that meant, but Mike KNEW what the real deal was about. He wasn’t sucked into the usual scenario and values which accompany a that level of notoriety. Mike stayed the course and if only for that I miss him a lot.
INTERVALS: 2011, a year of mixed genres
by David Liebman on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 9:36am
More than any year in recent memory, musically this one was about stylistic mixing. There were four musical circumstances this year which expanded me musically and emotionally. On top of the list was the meeting with Brazilian singer/guitarist Guinga in Sao Paulo this past July. His body of music is one of the most lyrical I have experienced and our concert ranks among my top lifetime gigs. Then there was the flamenco music with Dony de Moron from Andalucia, probably the most passionate music on the planet and a real lesson in what true rubato playing is about.
Crossing over to non-musical areas, was the interaction I had in the recording studio with painter Barb Januszkiewicz, her painting and me reacting to it. Finally, the meeting with my old friend, poet Steve Dalachinsky … improvising off the spoken word.
From Brazil to Spain to the visual and the oral, it was quite a musical year. Also with my group’s performances being noted as best of the year both in NYC Jazz (from Birdland) and in All About Jazz (from Ottawa), along with the first place on soprano in the Critic’s Poll from Downbeat and JazzTimes, I must say thanks to all my supporters out there.
The ride is going well. Look for my bio, "What It Is," to be released by March of 2012.
IF HE CAN DO THIS ARCO BASS TRANSCRIPTION - YOU CAN!!
Hundreds of students have heard my rap or seen my video on the transcription process and how important it is for getting the unwritten, aural sound of jazz rhythm, just like learning a language …by exact imitation. Check out this guy on the bass with bow
Chasin' the bird. Transcribed Tom Harrell solo. Craig Butterfield, double bass
Bob Brookmeyer, rest in peace: One of the absolutely best musicians who have ever played this music, Brookmeyer did it all. He had a smooth, elegant style and sound on the valve trombone, but also was a major composer bending the line in his late years between jazz and classical. He actually once asked me for a lesson on my chromatic stuff. Knowledge was everything to a guy like that. My sincerest sympathies to his close friends worldwide, who are many, on the passing of this giant.
INTERVALS: Scott LaFaro
When you want to know if you missed anything just go to your peers. Marc Copland gave me a remix of the classic Bill Evans Trio ”Waltz For Debby” recording that was so ground breaking in its approach as to the manner in which the rhythm section interacted. It was a real difference from the bebop formula. This remix brings the bass way up and all I can say is that Scott LaFaro is THE man. He is all over the music both with Bill and Paul (Motian), as well as when he solos. You ALWAYS know where he is in the music. I can’t imagine what bass players must have thought when they heard this group live. Like Charlie Parker, this guy came from another planet!!
EMPEROR JONES: Finally film has surfaced of something from my time with Elvin in the 1970s as part of the famous Live at the Lighthouse band with Steve Grossman and Gene Perla. I have no memory of this gig, where it was or anything, but I must say it captures that band nicely. Most of all to see Elvin play at any time of the night or day, any day of the year, any year of the millennium is worth it. How lucky was to get a taste of that part of the universe where kings reside.
PASSING OF A GIANT: SAM RIVERS
This man lived a long and productive life, always playing, always giving. Most known for his quasi-free playing and composer of a classic “Beatrice” (for his lovely wife), Sam ran Studio Rivebea for years in lower Manhattan that was a sort of follow-up to the loft scene in the late '70s, which became a place where the next generation cut their teeth. Sam was a nice guy, hip as they come and a mentor for many. RIP my brother.
INTERVALS: Three Wishes
by David Liebman on Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 9:18am
There was a woman named Pannonica de Koenigswarter who was a patron of jazz for several decades during the '50s through '70s. Charlie Parker died in her apartment; she was very tight with Monk, who spent his last decade in her place. Monk's “Pannonica” and Horace Silver’s “Nica’s Serenade” are dedicated to her for starters. A book came out awhile ago in French named "Three Wishes - An Intimate Look at Jazz Greats" (Henry Adams Inc.) Besides amazing and intimate photos of the guys, the Jazz Baroness asked them to name their “three pet wishes.” Though her granddaughter’s efforts the book came out and is now in English. I am going to quote some of the guys randomly over the next months. The answers are really amazing. Monk was, of course, first: “If you were given three wishes, to be instantly granted, what would they be?”
"Three Wishes - An Intimate Look at Jazz Greats" (Henry Adams Inc.) From the book (pg 31-32):
”He was pacing back and forth and he paused for a moment to gaze out across the river (Hudson) at the New York skyline. Then he gave me his answer:
“To be successful musically.”
“To have a happy family.”
“To have a crazy friend like you!”
And I said: “But, Thelonious! You have these already!”
He just smiled and began pacing again.
INTERVALS: The art of transcription
by David Liebman on Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 1:25pm
Students worldwide have heard me lecture on the importance of transcribing for decades and/or seen my DVD on the subject along with a detailed article on my web site. When I first get into a class I ask how many people have transcribed and most raise their hands, but when I finish maybe one student raised their hand when I ask. The reason is that when I play students who have accomplished what I outline, they realize that they have been only touching the surface. There is a natural "fun" aspect to transcribing because the student gets a feeling of accomplishment when they play along with the original solo. But my point is that unless one copies the original EXACTLY meaning every nuance and expressive device besides the actual pitches, one doesn't get the full effect. Students know quite quickly that rhythmic feel (swinging eight notes to be exact) is the hardest aspect of jazz to learn, since it cannot be done through books or memorization or anything like that . . . only by walking the walk, meaning exact imitation of HOW someone plays besides what they play. I always use the example of learning a language in school and then when one goes to that country pronouncing the words as learned, it's not right. But after a few months of living in an environment the SOUND of the language gets absorbed. The transcription process is three stages-singing the solo in order to physically absorb it in one's body and as well as ear; playing along with the solo and finally analysis. For the beginning transcriber I urge something simple like Miles, Dexter, Chet Baker, Wynton Kelly and others like that who played simple, but with incredible swing and personality.
Later on the transcriber can work up the food chain to more difficult solos. But for my course in chromaticism at the Manhattan School of Music, I expect that everyone who gets to that stage has done transcribing, hopefully as complete as I would like. In any case, since the material in the class is non-tonal the students are required to transcribe a so-called "chromatic" solo which I or my partner, pianist Phil Markowitz, has to approve. Then they have to sing and perform the solo in front of us. With the level of students worldwide raising yearly we have seen some remarkable transcriptions-like late very chromatic Coltrane or another student playing the complete 15 minute original "Impressions" solo of Coltrane's. But this young lady from Korea, So Young Park, (click her name and listen to her transcription) did something we have never seen . . . she sang and played at the same time on piano along with Herbie Hancock's incredible solo on "Milestones" from the seminal Miles Davis release "Live at the Plugged Nickel." The tempo is amazingly fast . . . Herbie does it all rhythmically playing in, around and against the pulse both tonally and chromatically at will. This young lady took on an amazing project and excelled. This is the way to do it!!
INTERVALS: Blue Xmas
by David Liebman on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 8:40am
Driving in the car this morning and listening to NPR’s Morning Edition which features a piece on John Zorn’s new Christmas record and the classic Bob Dorough tune “Blue Xmas.” Bob, who is my neighbor and just turned 88, is an incredible cat, always coming to gigs, smiling, full of energy and a really good musician. You should check out the first vocal that Miles ever recorded with Bob, “Blue Xmas” which Bob describes as trying to capture the kind of vibe Miles “might” have about the holiday. Needless to say, the words are right on about the negative and commercial aspects of Xmas. "When you're blue at Xmas time / You see through all the waste / All the sham, all the haste / And plain old bad taste. It's a time when the greedy give a dime to the needy." The arrangement sounds like Gil Evans, though Miles copped the credit and publishing which Bob got back after Miles’ demise. (Some of the beboppers were a bit shady in that respect.) Interesting is Wayne Shorter’s solo, done here a few years before his joining Miles’ group
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 7:55am
CHORDS, CHORDS, CHORDS: As I mentioned a few weeks ago, there are few horn players who can say that within a three-week period he or she was accompanied nightly (in a DUO situation) by two master piano harmonicists, Richie Beirach and Marc Copland. Talk about different but the same, especially when playing standards, which puts everyone on equal footing more so than an “original” composition. Richie, the dramatist with his deep 20th century influence … dissonance as consonance; while Marc comes from Impressionism via Herbie Hancock and Bill Evans … a different chord every minute all in the middle of the piano with voices moving all the time. As I tell all the folks, if you want to REALLY know harmony, play with, watch over (shoulders), ask questions, borrow, steal …. do ANYTHING to get inside a pianist’s heads. They deal every minute with 400 plus years of harmonic history, not to mention TEN fingers possible at any moment in a voicing.
I think pianists are all basically geniuses … horn players lift the hay!!
INTERVALS: The pleasures of music
by David Liebman on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 12:05pm
Off to Europe for duo with the fantastic Marc Copland. I am a lucky guy having two tours back-to-back with piano masters, Richie Beirach and now Marc. Great musicians all have their own way of doing things and that makes me react differently. Richie is a story teller, very dramatic with complex chords when needed, while Marc embodies a lot of Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock aspects, very sensitive, soft and deep harmony in another way.
On another subject, just reflecting on the Flamenco experience a few weeks ago and having played with Guinga in Brazil this summer . . . this has been quite a world music year.
INTERVALS: Bird and Trane on "Cherokee"
by David Liebman on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 11:45am
If you haven' t heard these tracks, check it out. First of all is Bird on "Cherokee" in 1943, almost completely formed. Incredible, if you know the "Body and Soul" little thing he did in, I believe, 1936 on one of those plastic records from a state fair or whatever where you would record in a booth. That recording is interesting because at 16 years old, you hear the future and the past . . . some Benny Carterisms mixed with lines that will become the Bird we all know. And then Trane from his Navy days in Hawaii sounding almost complete, on "Cherokee,"copying Bird on alto. Interesting not only because it sounds great for a 19 year old, but the fact that he gave up alto as a testament to Bird's gigantic shadow (from what I have understood) is worth considering. He could've stayed on alto which was his first horn and made his way like Sonny Stitt and Jackie McLean, but instead gave it up to Bird.
The rest is history.
On way to Andalucia, the home of Flamenco music, playing repertoire of Ramon Montoya, one of the fathers of that music who used soprano sax for the melodies. The gigs are with authentic cats and a great jazz drummer and cajon player, Guillermo McGill, who transcribed the music. I am a bit intimidated walking into the real deal but looking forward to it . . . also 70 degrees and my favorite food . . . paella! Nice world music year . . . summer with Guinga, fall with Flamenco.
Note to all saxophonists who think that any playing problems are related to equipment (mouthpiece, horn, reed, etc.) ....listen to Phil Woods talk about this "problem" in relation to an encounter with Charlie Parker.
Is it possible that Flamenco is one of the most passionate of musics? Having great fun with these guys in Spain celebrating the music of one of the early greats Ramon Montoya.
An improvised burn-out at the legendary Whelan's in Dublin Dave Liebman - saxophones Michael Buckley - saxophones Chris Guilfoyle - guitar Ronan Guilfoyle - ...
INTERVALS: A good trip in the best of company
by David Liebman on Saturday, November 5, 2011 at 9:56am
We (the Dave Liebman Group) just logged over 3,500 miles in the Midwest of America doing mostly colleges and a few clubs. During the workshops we heard nearly a dozen groups play for us to comment on. On this level one would think jazz is doing great. The audiences were young and enthusiastic, the combos that played for us were on a high level and the questions at clinics were by and large probing and mature. Of course, we are going to them instead of the reverse and by and large the events are free or at a nominal charge. But in any case, we had a wonderful time and really feel that we communicated something of lasting value to a lot of young people who are not familiar with jazz. Also, the teachers, most of whom I know previously are absolutely doing a great job, year after year. There is a sense of focus and accomplishment everywhere that we visited which is heartening. And to my band, Vic Juris, Tony Marino and Marko Marcinko, after 20 years, I never get tired of the music or your company. Everyone pulls together and it is apparent to even novice listeners that this is truly a GROUP in the real sense of the word.
Thanks to all the folks in the mid west who helped me put this tour together.
CHANGE IS IN THE WIND: LAST INTERVALS ON WEB SITE
OCT 14 2011
To all my readers past, present and future who have read what I have called my newsletter, Intervals, over the years I am about to make a change. When I started Intervals it was the result of a program initiated by the National Endowment of the Arts in the early 1990’s specifically meant for a portion of the jazz musician population who were then considered in “mid-career.” This meant not young enough to be part of the then widely publicized “Young Lions” movement, but on the other hand not old enough to be living legends. This described my situation quite well at the time. I was directed to journalist Bret Primack, who has since become synonymous with jazz on the internet. After a variety of ideas, including management, starting a non profit corporation, filling out grants, etc., all moves that have been done with varying degrees of success by other artists, we settled on the idea of incorporating a newsletter. First of all, I enjoyed writing and by then had authored several books, so I was comfortable with typing (yes, on a typewriter!!) and was not too bad at expressing myself in this medium. The idea was for people to be aware of my activities and as it evolved, my thoughts on various subjects. Of course this was well before the internet, blogs, e mails, etc. I started out with typed newsletters, getting help from a local couple, Scott and Joan Fabian, mailing out hundreds of copies using a bulk rate. With the advent of e mail I sent Intervals directly to people for a few years, eventually leading to posting the newsletter directly on my web site bi-monthly.
With the advent of Facebook, it is quite clear that web sites serve a very different function than just a few years ago when it was the solo source of information about an artist. Now, it is more of a repository of items concerning past and present activities….bio materials, discography, photos, educational articles, lists of publications, new recordings, itineraries, events, etc. But as a source of contact with the world at large, this has shifted to Facebook. I have a gentleman, Michael Crowell, who coordinates Facebook for me and has built up quite a large number of friends and fans over the past year plus. Because of these changes I have decided to stop publication of Intervals on my web site. Instead, I will post things directly on Facebook as they occur and have time to write. I think this is much more practical and will have a larger readership.
I must say that having to meet a deadline, though self imposed was very positive for forming my thoughts on subjects, organizing my activities and the like. I have all the past newsletters from 1993 posted on the web site in this section called Intervals as well as a table of contents with the named articles. I will continue to collect what I write about and all my activities in an organized fashion in this section of past newsletters. With gratitude to Bret Primack, Scott and Joan Fabian, and after eighteen years, Intervals has a new lease on life as a way to communicate with interested folks around the world. You can always contact me through the web site under the tab called Contact on my home page.
The exact link to my page on Facebook is: https://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Liebman/29847424589