Throughout much of the '80s and '90s, Dave Liebman focused exclusively on soprano saxophone. On this 1996 date he proclaims the Return of the Tenor, taking up the larger horn once again for an inspired set of well-known standards. (One can read about Liebman's creative reasons for doing so in his self-penned liner notes.) Flanked by the members of his working band -- pianist Phil Markowitz, guitarist Vic Juris, bassist Tony Marino, and drummer Jamey Haddad -- Liebman chooses not to rearrange or reharmonize the tunes in any fundamental way. In his own words, this is a "blowing session," but players like these have a way of making a blowing session sound like a lot more. What Liebman is really doing, however, is publicly working out his issues on the tenor saxophone, and using familiar melodies and forms to do so. The varied ensemble formats -- duo, trio, quartet, quintet -- help to sustain the listener's interest.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by David R. Adler