Saturday, April 9, 2011

Billy Hart & Dave Liebman

From New York's Birdland, here's some footage (not mine) of two of my favorite musicians, saxophonist Dave Liebman and drummer Billy Hart:

These two musicians always play with an intensity, energy and driven purpose that, to me, defines the whole reason why we even try to play this music in the first place.

I recently picked up a copy of Liebman's book "Self Portrait of a Jazz Artist: Musical Thoughts and Realities" and have found it to be a thoughtful and inspiring collection of ideas based on Dave Liebman's real life experience of being a Jazz musician (through his various perspectives and reflections on different points of his career) and of the many things that go into being a Jazz artist in today's environment (touring, recording, gigging, practicing, etc.) Any young musician considering a career in this music should definitely check this one out (and of course anybody who has been doing this awhile as well!)

Also, during my CD buying binge in New York two weeks ago at J&R music I picked up a copy of Billy Hart's latest release on Steeplechase "Sixty-Eight".

This is an album to commemorate Hart's 68 years on the planet (and tearing up a drumming storm I might add!) and the music features a band of much younger musicians in a creative outing featuring tunes by Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman and Sam Rivers (among others). Also nice to hear my former collaborator Jason Palmer on trumpet sounding great as always (I had the pleasure of working with Jason at the Kennedy Center's Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency in Washington D.C. in 2003).

Dave Liebman and Billy Hart are truly two Jazz warriors that I admire deeply and continue to make a difference as both performing artists and teachers in the world today. Two good examples to follow, I think.

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