Jazz CD Reviews

Ed Saindon & Dave Liebman – Depth of Emotion – World Improvised Music

Very pleasant and thoughtful jazz from two pros

Published on August 11, 2008

Ed Saindon & Dave Liebman – Depth of Emotion – World Improvised Music
Ed Saindon & Dave Liebman – Depth of Emotion – World Improvised Music WIM 1005, 72:55 ****1/2:

(Dave Liebman – soprano sax, Indian flute; Ed Saindon – vibes, piano, marimba; David Clark – acoustic bass; Mark Walker – drums)

Dave Liebman should be a household name to any jazz aficionado.  Perhaps most well known for his work with the Saxophone Summit, the (primarily) tenor and soprano saxophonist has appeared on nearly 350 recording sessions and led or co-led over 100.  Berklee professor, author, international jazz educator, and workshop leader, Ed Saindon is less widely known as a performer, but he has a long resume of famous jazz artists he’s played with.  All the compositions on this disc are his, except the standards “Green Dolphin Street” and “Moon River.”  

The Saindon originals save “Tokyo Nights” have a more or less pronounced Latin tinge, even the waltz-like “Alpine Sunset.”  The best of these are “Giorgio’s Theme,” with its Uakti-like, primitive South American feel, the haunting “Last Goodbye,” dedicated to the late Herb Pomeroy, a friend and frequent playing partner, and “The Healing,” a wistful, highly evocative number that features splendid Saindon soloing on its two different takes (though one wonders why both—very similar—were included).  The two standards are imaginatively reconfigured, with “Green Dolphin Street” given a very attractive spritely tempo and “Moon River,” thoroughly reworked with a long duet intro between Saindon (on piano) and Liebman, morphing into almost a blowing session with fine solos by Saindon and Liebman.

The disc ends with five unaccompanied piano pieces by Saindon totaling about thirteen minutes.  I’m a little conflicted about things ending this way.  The disc at nearly 73 minutes would have been plenty long without them.  On the one hand, they rather radically break the mood from what’s gone before.  On the other hand, they come at the end of the session, they’re easily programmed out, and they present another quite attractive side of Saindon.  All in all, a delightful session.

The Last Goodbye, The Healing, Green Dolphin Street, Moon River, Tokyo Nights, Giorgio’s Theme, Sao Paulo, Alpine Sunset, The Healing (alt. take), Piazzolla, Joyful Sorrow, Silent Serenity, 18th’s Child, Life’s Dreams

– Jan P. Dennis

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