After leading his legendary group Quest in the 1980s and after over two decades of the Dave Liebman Group, the NEA Jazz Master unveils a brand new band, Expansions. The adventure features members of a new generation of talented musicians eager, like their bandleader, to alter the language of jazz. These musicians, heard on the new CD, “Samsara,” include Bobby Avey on piano, Matt Vashlishan on reeds, Tony Marino on bass and drummer Alex Ritz. The directions are unpredictable and dazzling, with an emphasis on collective improvisation…a milieu seemingly built for Liebman as evidenced in his extraordinarily diverse stylistic career.
As a saxophonist and composer, Newhall, Iowa native and Luther College grad Chad Eby has earned widespread critical acclaim as “a consummate improviser” (Jazz Times), who “has tremendous poise and natural melodic sense” (Ottawa Sun), and whose “tone is boundless, blues-inflected, and wholly satisfying” (All About Jazz). His commissioned works have been performed by Wynton Marsalis, Bill Charlap and Kurt Elling, and various jazz orchestras across the country. He is currently assistant professor of music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Music, Theatre and Dance. For his new CD, he’s put together a quartet to present his music inspired by the work of poet Shel Silverstein on “The Sweet Shel Suite.”
Also this week, trombonist/composer/arranger Jamie Dubberly and Orquesta Dharma present “La Clave Del Gumbo,” combining the rhythms and sound of New Orleans brass bands with Afro-Cuban jazz and salsa; trombonist Jason Jackson unveils his second disc as a leader, “Inspiration,” featuring Roy Hargrove, Terell Stafford, Pete Christlieb, Dick Oatts and others; and contemporary jazz trumpeter Rick Braun offers up “Can You Feel It.”