Dave Liebman & The CNY Jazz Orchestra – If A White Horse From Jerusalem…

CNY jazz records – Street date August 10th 2024
Dave Liebman & The CNY Jazz Orchestra - If A White Horse From Jerusalem...

The month of July is a good time to revisit albums that we are passionate about, as there are far fewer album releases because the artists are at festivals or on tours all over the place. This morning, I was listening again to Miles during his Bebop period and revisiting the 1958 track “Milestones.” Immediately, I thought of this album by Dave Liebman, “If A White Horse From Jerusalem…,” which has been sitting on my desk. If you don’t see the connection, to me, Miles Davis and Dave Liebman are two geniuses of limitless inventiveness. The theme here is the link between the humanist populations on both the Palestinian and Israeli sides, far beyond the grim politics of the two camps. There are men, women, and artists who bear witness through their art, as is the case here. The relationship between Miles’ Bebop period and this particular album is evident. Dave Liebman, luminous and resplendent, a witness to an era that clearly breaks his heart, brings intelligence and beauty here. This work should be saluted both artistically and intellectually—it is simply grandiose.

Eleven years ago, the Central New York Jazz Orchestra accompanied Dave Liebman on a tour with this work, a four-movement piece commissioned by the S.U. Humanities Center on their 2011 theme “Conflict: Peace and War,” and performed that year at the Carrier Theater with support from the Jewish Federation of Central New York and Hillel. Everything in this album’s arrangements brings me back to Miles’ Bebop period. Here, with this large ensemble, an energy emerges that seems to elevate Dave Liebman even higher. The CNY Jazz Orchestra, being much more than a simple big band composed of incredible musicians, takes us into this bop world jazz effortlessly, and we marvel at every note. Dave is not only a pure musical genius but also a teacher and author of books on music, such as “Ruminations & Reflections – The Musical Journey of Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach” and “The Art Of Skill.” In every work by Dave Liebman, there is a deep reflection; things mature and are revealed when they are ripe. This new album is particularly surprising, even on well-known tracks like “Somewhere.” Over the past few decades, Lieb has often been highlighted with leading European musicians such as Joachim Kühn, Daniel Humair, Paolo Fresu, Jon Christensen, Bobo Stenson, Michel Portal, Wolfgang Reisinger, and Jean-Paul Celea, among others. His reputation in Europe has led to performances with big bands and radio orchestras such as the WDR in Cologne, Germany; the NDR in Hamburg; the HR Big Band in Frankfurt; and the Metropole Orchestra in the Netherlands.

Dave Liebman is one of the artists you regularly hear on Bayou Blue Radio, just like Miles Davis and a few others who are references that we offer both in current music and from our back catalog, which are as representative of the past as they are of the present or future, due to the importance of their art. This album is totally “indispensable.” Don’t be misled by the cover, which looks like nothing special, because its content is a true gem!

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, July 10th 2024

Follow PARIS-MOVE on X