DAVE LIEBMAN / ELLERY ESKELIN
From All About Jazz:
On first inspection, teaming up saxophonists David Liebman and Ellery Eskelin might seem to have the potential for an acute dose of musical schizophrenia. But closer consideration reveals that there is indeed a meeting point. Eskelin may have a reputation as a free player, but he's equally concerned with bringing more traditional aspects into his wildly exploratory work. Liebman, on the other hand, may come from a stronger background in the mainstream jazz tradition, though he is by no means a straightahead player, and he's certainly no stranger to the greater extremes offered by free improvisation.
And so, on Different But the Same, we find two saxophonists converging on a middle ground that somehow incorporates both elements into a surprisingly cogent blend. And while they find common turf, there is no compromise in sight. With each saxophonist bringing along one player with a longstanding association--in Liebman's case it's bassist Tony Marino, who has been a part of Liebman's groups of the past few years; Eskelin brings along the ever-versatile drummer Jim Black, whose shared relationship dates back over a decade--the meeting is certainly democratic. It's fascinating to hear Black in a more traditional arena than his usual, and to find Marino playing with a greater sense of freedom.
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