A cool meeting of tenor sax greats, one older (Dave Liebman) who once taught the younger (Ellery Eskelin). The band is rounded out by Liebman's longtime bassist (Tony Marillo) and Eskelin's longtime drummer (Jim Black).
A great quartet outing that traverses free-jazz and traditional bebop territory. Tracks run the gamut from very-straight straight jazz (2) to free spazz-outs (3,8). Most of the writing is in a sophisticated post-bop vein, with tangly themes. Eskelin contributes some originals that get into nice exploratory ideas, a bit abstract (3,6).
Eskelin has the more "free-jazz" reputation of the two, but Liebman doesn't shy away from experimenting himself. (For a more expansive example of his improv side, see the Bianco/Liebman/Marino album "Line-Ish" on the Emanem label.)
1- Perky mid/fast, playful. Starts sparse, ends busy. Slightly off-kilter writing.
2- Slow swing, traditional feel. Builds to a strong, loud peak.
3- Crazy clatter based on cool parallel-sax themes
4- Slow and complex
5- Mid/fast fun swing. With a choatic twist, in that it opens with three themes played at once: Lee Konitz's "Subconscious-Lee," Tadd Dameron's "Hot House," and Cole Porter's "What Is This Thing," which the liner notes describe as the source marterial for the other two compositions.
6- Scattery bass and drum improv, slow sax lines. Often sparse.
7- Slow, mournful Wayne Shorter tune. Powerful near the end. Two-minute bass intro.
8- Machine-gun drum solo, then disjoint drums poked by unison sax lines. Crazy and vicious overall, a showcase for drummer Black. Written by Liebman!