Steuart Liebig


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Vinny Golia, as the only horn, is the overwhelmingly dominant presence in this appealingly hard-core session, for which, as producer Bob Rusch points out in his notes, leader Steuart Liebig serves as catalyst. Golia comes with an arsenal of reeds (contra-alto clarinet, soprano sax, and bari sax), and his clear tone, confident attack, and creative skills are all in full bloom as he keeps the listener just enough off-guard to maintain an element of continuous surprise. From the opening cut it is clear that the trio's powerful bearing is revved to go. Liebig and percussionist Billy Mintz are heard mostly in support, and are critical to the album's success, and Liebig's electronics and even amplification of the guitars are subtle though important factors in the album's success. Although the several freely improvised pieces (marked simply as "Improvisation #1," "Improvisation #2," and so forth), comprise most of the recording time, the distinction between the composed and improvised pieces is sometimes difficult to make without a scorecard -- a tribute to Liebig's writing. "Trioism #1" reflects the influence of Anthony Braxton's more angular melodies but the other abstract pieces in the series are from a different mold, with "Trioism #2" being a lovely vehicle for Golia's gorgeous soprano and "Trioism #13" (paired with "Improvisation #2" featuring some hot blowing reminiscent of that of Peter Brotzmann.

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