David Liebman is considered a renaissance man in contemporary music with a career stretching nearly fifty years. He has played with masters including Miles Davis, Elvin Jones, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, McCoy Tyner and others; authored books and instructional DVDs which are acknowledged as classics in the jazz field; recorded as a leader in styles ranging from classical to rock to free jazz; awarded NEA Jazz Masters (2011); Jazz Educators Network (JEN) Legends of Jazz; multiple Grammy nominee and Downbeat/Jazz Times Critics/JEN Poll winner (soprano sax); French Order of Arts and Letters; Honorary Doctorate, Sibelius Academy (Helsinki, Finland); Founder (1989) and Artistic Director of the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ); performed on over 500 recordings with over 200 as a leader/co-leader featuring several hundred original compositions.
“Liebman is among the most important saxophonists in contemporary music . . a leader and artist of integrity and independent direction.” Downbeat Magazine
“While others of his ‘60s generation have fallen off their ambition, Liebman has remained dogged about composition and trying different styles…he’s a fighter.” Ben Ratliff-NY Times
“Liebman led his band through a fantastic rendition of Coltrane¹s “India,” underscoring both his thoughtful devotion (researching Coltrane’s music) and the strikingly intuitive rapport of his quintet.”
Jazz Times review of Expansion’s Newport Jazz Festival appearance (2016)
Hello to you all and welcome to my web site. Besides the usual publicity material, itineraries and available products which one normally encounters on artist web sites, over the years I have tried to make this site into a repository of information about jazz for those who are seriously interested in the art form. Specifically educational articles, private archive recordings, photos and interviews should be of particular interest. As a result of nearly fifty years of being a jazz artist, there is a lot of information here. Please check the itinerary (published monthly) and my facebook site for updates and miscellaneous writings I do from time to time. Feel free to contact me for any specific musical questions. Enjoy!!
What does it feel like when you are in the vortex, the eye of the hurricane? To me it is aptly put by the French; you are (at least temporarily) “Le Roi Du Monde.” For those moments when I (as a horn player) am playing in front of a good rhythm section, I am simply “the king of the world”–everything is perfect!! One is in complete control; you can do whatever you want within that space inhabited at the moment. You are truly the master of the universe…not the cliche.. the real deal! Getting to that place takes years of experience and observing those who are ahead of you on line. There is a confidence, an unseen swagger, an assertiveness (even if the music is gentle). It’s so good that all you want is to repeat it… like a junkie…hooked forever.
George Carlin, one of the all time great comedians and observers of the human condition in his autobiography (Last Words) describes the feeling I’m referring to:
“There is nothing happening in the universe outside of that reality and that experience. When besides that I’m being rewarded with all this approval, attention, approbation for something that is solely mine and only I can do. There can’t be anything better than that. To be intensely alone, intensely myself, in control of everything, the center of a self created universe.”
(For more on this subject go to the Education tab; Educational articles;Miscellaneous; “Concerning Entering The “Zone.”)
“I have a story to share with people that I call “Seeing The Light.” It begins with contracting polio as a child, which seemed to set the course of my future in one direction, only to be changed by a pivotal event that ultimately redirected my life’s work. It is a universal story for all people concerning how an extremely powerful and personal experience, once realized, can become a catalyst for change and direction in one’s life.”
Liebman sonata for soprano sax and piano: “THREE AS 1” commissioned by the World Saxophone Congress, 2015; premiered in Strassbourg, France by Jean Charles Richard (soprano)/Eric Ferrand-N’Kaoua (piano)
OCTOBER 2016 ITINERARY
-Performances with Mehmet Sanlikol Big Band at the Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport Mass and Joe’s Pub, NYC
-Guest lecturer for Global Jazz at Berklee College, Boston, Mass
-Poland Tour with VEIN (Arbenz Brothers)
-Workshops and performances at Third Annual Modern Jazz Festival in Shanghai, China
-Radio France live duet concert with Martial Solal, Paris, France
-Danish tour with the Aarhus Jazz Orchestra performing “Rewrite of Stravinsky’s Rite Of Spring” arranged by Lars Moeller
What It Is
Liebman’s biography available in paperback from Amazon