Tuesday, December 9, 2008
DAVID LIEBMAN "The Blessing of the Old, Long Sound"
1. The Blessing Of The Old, Long Sound (D. Liebman) 4:40
2. Africa (J. Coltrane) 9:46
3. Invasione (A. Mariani) 6:51
4. L'Aquilone Giallo (C. Marlani) 5:17
5. Punto D'Organo Ballo (C). Burranca) 6:07
6. Processione (D. Burranca) 4:52
7. The Drum Thing (J. Coltrane) 7:34
8. Elm (R. Beirach) 6:02
9. Spirits Renewed (D. Liebman) 6:40
soprano sax (all tracks except 'The Drum Thing"), tenor sax, flute ("Elm", "The Blessing"), sulittu [sardinian wooden flute] ("The Blessing"), synthesizer ("The Blessing").
tenor sax ("Ballo Punto D'Organo", "Africa", "Spirits Renewed"), traditional (Mediana D, Mediana C, Fiorassio Bb) and specially projected launeddas [Punto Nuovo E, Punto D'Organo Gb9, Colmediana A].
traditional (Fiorassio D, , Punto D'Organo G, Mediana C, Mediana D, Fiorassio Bb, Fiorassio C] and specially projected launeddas [Fiorassiana D].
congas, drums, boo-bam, assorted percussion.
traditional launeddas [Mediana a pipìa] ("Processione")
Recorded: Milan, November 20-25, 1989
Notes by David Liebman:
My experience with world or ethnic dates back to my group, "Lookout Farm" in the 1970s. Indian music wasincorporated into our sound and permeated several albums. In fact, a high point of all my travels still remains the recording we made in Bombay in 1976. The album called "Passing Dreams" featured the group's members interacting with four master Indian musicians.
The attraction of world music for an improvising musician like myself seems to be quite basic. These are the elements of spontaneous interpretation as well as ongoing improvisation of course. These are a given in ethnic music. But even more essential to me is the humaneness and passion which is so obvious in the folk music of any country. It is the truest expression of man's spirituality, uncluttered by intellect, yet embodying fantastic technique at the same time.
It was in Sardinia, while on tour with Paolo Fresu a few years ago, that I made the acquaintance of the launeddas and even played briefly with the Maestro, Dionigi Burranca. I met Alberto and Carlo Mariani while teaching in Rome and with their loving help, became more familiar with both the instrument and the music of Sardinia. Finally, Gianfranco Salvatore approached me to do this project.
What is the specialness of this music? For me, it is the obvious "joie de vivre" you feel as you listen and play in this language. These musicians celebrate life; the human spirit; the everyday fact of being alive. It is one of the most consistent joyful sounds I can image. Aberto Mariani is one of the most dedicated musicians I have known. When I tried to write some music for this project, I really didn't know what the launeddas was capable of, but 1 figured correctly that if anyone could make my ideas applicable, it would be Alberto. He is truly amazing and a very spiritual human being, Carlo is also a joy to be around and work with. And to be with the maestro - without understanding his words - I feel his wisdom and warmth as he spoke to his respectful students, Carlo and Alberto. How wonderful tradition can be - the passing of knowledge from generation to generation over the centuries.
Issued in 1989, the pairing of saxophonist and composer David Liebman with an Italian jazz trio would seem to signal an exercise in the deep, lush lyricism that jazzmen from Italy express no matter what side of the in/out fence they are on. But this set is more an exploration of tone, drone, and mode. These pieces are like mantras that come from time immemorial, whether they be Liebman's compositions or those of his collaborators Alberto and Carlo Mariani, Tiziano Tononi, or special guest Dionigi Burranca. Even John Coltrane's classic "Africa" is re-envisioned according to these age-old techniques and observances of sound as tone and tone as drone, with the drone being the most primordial of all sound objects and syntaxes. The strange exotic delight that takes place in the articulation of these frameworks, where melody is not a factor but harmony and interval become central, is almost pre-linguistic musically, yet it is advanced and very sophisticated -- particularly in the improvisational passages by Liebman and Alberto Mariani on saxophones against the traditional Italian launeddas. While many jazz fans might have a hard time with this, those open-minded enough to try something outside the shop will find this album not only fascinating, but compelling listening as well. ~ Thom Jurek, All Music Guide
“Launeddas, strumento del futuro. Così vuole il metodo di chi prova a ridisegnare l’identità delle tre canne simbolo di Sardegna. La firma di Liebman, il virtuoso del jazz che già aveva assaggiato i sapori etnici di un’isola mediterranea, avalla l’operazione sul Cd della New Sound Planet, etichetta di respiro avanguardista, anche grazie alla produzione di Gianfranco Salvatore. Alberto e Carlo Mariani, da anni impegnati con puntiglio nello studio delle "cannas" di ogni festa tra Campidano e Gallura, conquistati da armonie ronzanti, che affiancano adesso l’amico americano in una prova audace. E un ospite speciale e autorevole come può esserlo un patriarca della musica tradizionale sarda, Dionigi Burranca, benedice l’operazione innovativa. Nessun attentato all’ordine stabilito: basta spaziare con timbri e sovrapposizioni per ridiscutere precetti che hanno resistito ai secoli. La nuova vita di un pezzo d’archeologia sonora comincia da qui. Le tre canne dei nuraghi spesso somigliano incredibilmente ai sintetizzatori di Philip Glass e di John Surman. Le idee coltraniane rifioriscono nell’intreccio di sax soprano e launeddas, quasi avessero riscoperto la loro sorgente originaria. E il contatto tra stilemi jazzistici e suoni delle etnie diventa alchimia entusiasmante. Potrebbe essere lo slancio di un rinascimento, un decollo oltre il folclore”.
Angelo Porru - LA NUOVA SARDEGNA