David Liebman

Forgotten Fantasies

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This 1976 duo session documents the lasting and profound musical partnership of saxophonist David Liebman and pianist Richard Beirach. Their stark and somewhat somber music, which would be perfectly at home on the ECM label, still sounds contemporary. Beirach's chords are lush and, at times, quite dissonant and opaque, providing a complex harmonic foundation for the lyrical post-Coltrane musings of Liebman, who plays tenor and soprano sax, as well as alto flute. The two each contribute three compositions, culminating in Beirach's extended up-tempo showstopper "Obsidian Mirrors," during which one can practically hear bass and drums churning along with them. Indeed, it is their rhythmic communication that grabs the listener most of all -- particularly the suspenseful in-tempo pauses that occur during "Repeat Performance" and "Troubled Peace." Other highlights include Liebman's biting, plain-spoken tenor on Beirach's "Eugene" and his ethereal alto flute on the title waltz, "Forgotten Fantasies."

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