Monday, October 1, 2007



I must say that this anniversary year was something else. With trips to Australia (performing with McCoy Tyner and Mike Nock); fulfilling a life long dream by visiting the Sahara desert (Mauritania); and doing a bunch of recordings and new books along with several Coltrane tributes and workshops as it was also his anniversary year. On Sept. 23, we celebrated Trane’s 81st birthday at New York’s Symphony Space with Sax Summit and the Manhattan School of Music big band playing Gunnar Mossblad’s arrangement of “Meditations” in the large setting as well as some other late Trane music. The addition of Ravi Coltrane to Sax Summit (along with Joe Lovano, Cecil McBee, Billy Hart and Phil Markowitz) feels and sounds wonderful. We will be recording a new CD for Telarc to be released in the spring followed by touring.

Following is a link to You Tube to see the group performing "Expression" from Symphony Space:


JAZZ ICON SERIES: A new set of DVDs has come out with an incredible one of Trane featuring three performances, among them is the best live Trane on video from Belgium in 1965. Some people may have seen “Naima” and “My Favorite Things” before, but on this DVD, there is in addition a short duo between John and Elvin that is very much like the tune “Vigil” which appeared on record around this time. Also, the newly discovered performance with Stan Getz and Oscar Petersen is included. The Mingus DVD is absolutely incredible, with Eric Dolphy, Jackie Byard, Johnny Coles and Clifford Jordan on tenor. The tunes are incredible, the vibe very real and Eric is playing beyond description. What an unsung hero Eric Dolphy is!! After this last tour with Mingus, Eric died passed within a few months.

DARK MAGUS by Gregory Davis: Not quite a kiss and tell book, there is no question that Miles Davis’ son is a bit peeved about being cut out of the will (which he eventually rectified.) I remember when he was around the band during my time having just become a Muslim with a different name, etc. We never talked. But I must say that the way he describes Miles is VERY accurate in a lot of truly personal ways. It’s too much to get into here, but suffice to say, the book is not a bad read.

COMMENT-THE AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL: Through the auspices of a local arts center out where I live in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, I gave a few clinics in neighboring high schools. I did an hour plus one day with my quartet performing a set the next day (very early in the morning!!). Of course, I have to assume and optimistically hope that there are always a few kids who sort of get it and seeing jazz right in front of them may have a real effect. But in general, my observation (and I am pretty confident that anyone who knows the situation will agree), being a high school teacher in the U.S. in our time has got to be one of the hardest jobs around. I don’t’ want to get into the rap like “Well, in my time, it was so and so….” After all, I went to Lafayette High School in Brooklyn with 6000 kids and a graduating class of 2500. Now with my daughter in tenth grade in the local high school in Stroudsburg, I am getting even more first hand looks at our education system. These kids are being controlled like they are in the army-God forbid a kid does anything out of the norm or thinks out of the box or acts in any way non conformist. Most of the guys I know now would probably have been shot if they went to school now. It’s tough out there for students and faculty alike…just another casualty of our “modern” society.

WARNING:I have been receiving this notice below from the “IRS” incessantly in the last weeks. Of course, when you click on it asks for your social and credit card. I called the IRS and as expected, they never e mail anyone, only by phone or letter. Be warned-do not fall for this:

“After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that
you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $249.30.
Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 3-6 days in order to
process it.
To access the form for your tax refund, please click here
Internal Revenue Service

Note: For security reasons, we will record your ip-address, the date and time.
Deliberate wrong inputs are criminally pursued and indicated.

Copyright 2007, Internal Revenue Service U.S.A. All rights reserved.”


Joe Zawinul: What a life this guy had and what an effect. A case could be made that Joe was the man responsible for the whole world music thing, pioneered with Weather Report and continued with his music of the last 20 years. As well, a case could be made that he is one of the founders of fusion-think “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” “Jive Samba” “In A Silent Way”, etc., not to mention the verifiable hit, “Birdland”. And finally, yet another case could be made that Joe was THE man who made the synthesizer a viable instrument for improvised music more than just a pop ornament. What a pioneer-what a presence-and by the way, what a unique and intense personality.


RONAN GUILFOYLE:: Familiar readers know who Ronan is, the Irish bass player with whom I have played for twenty years and has written chamber pieces for me and others ranging from duos, to string quartets to orchestral settings. He is the author of a book on rhythm that is fast becoming a classic (title needed) covering the topics of metric modulation, subdivision and odd meter. He continues his research into rhythm and especially being able to teach this most elusive subject. Recommended is this article and in fact his whole site:
While you are at it, check the godfather of this stuff, Steve Coleman:

And on you tube, myself with Ronan and the incredible Jim Black from the 55 Bar in New York a few years ago:


SONNY ROLLINS AT CARNEGIE HALL:Celebrating the 50th anniversary of a Carnegie Hall performance opposite Coltrane in 1957, Newk appeared with Christian McBride and Roy Haynes playing the same tunes he did at that concert: “Sonny Moon for Two,” “ Some Enchanted Evening” and “Mac the Knife.” The trio was great and Sonny at 77 was his usual communicative self both musically and personally to the sold out crowd. He still comes up with it as all the masters do, on the spot real time improvisation. In any case, with Roy Haynes (82 years young) what could be bad?

BEYOND THE CORNER AT BIRDLAND with Mike Stern, Anthony Jackson and my group (Vic Juris, Marko Marcinko, Tony Marino):.We had a ball playing the music from the recording (Shrapnel Records) which happens to coincide with the release of the “Complete On the Corner Sessions” by Miles which is definitely getting a lot of publicity. There is no question that playing in this style demands a different set of chops and conception, as it is musically dominated by open ended vamps and fairly steady, predictable beat patterns. It‘s easy and tempting to play clichés and stay on the same emotional plane, but if one really demands more of himself and the group, improvisational magic can be achieved as is the case in any style of jazz. And if a group has a chance to play the music for awhile, magic is bound to happen.


This is hilarious-the Spinal Tap version of jazz-British of course!

Jazz club

James Brown and Pavarotti-yes, it’s true and happening!!

Gene Krupa's sticks and Benny Goodman's clarinet from the Carnegie Hall Concert-1938


October:Tour of Germany with Juergen Friedrich Trio featuring John Hebert (bass) and Tony Moreno (drums); Italian tour with the Cues Trio featuring Roberto Tarenzi(piano), Paolo Benedettini(bass) and Tony Arco(drums); clinics and performance with the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra playing the Miles Davis-Gil Evans collaboration “Porgy and Bess” at the Jazz Improv Convention, New York City.\

DAVE LIEBMAN GROUP(VIc Juris, Tony Marino, Marko Marcinko):

Fall Tour 2007

Oct 21st 4pm (master class) 6pm (concert) The Deer Head Inn, Delaware Water Gap, PA
Oct.27th 8pm Chris's Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom St. Philadelphia, PA. (215)-568-3131
Oct. 28th The New Haven Lounge, Baltimore, MD. 1552 Havenwood Rd.
(410) 366-7416
Oct 30th Anthropology Jazz- San Diego, CA.
Oct 31th through Nov 3rd 8pm & 9:30pm The Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helmes Blvd.,Culver City, CA
Nov.4th 4:30pm concert The Jazz School 2087 Addison St. Berkeley, CA
Nov.5th 8pm Los Medanos College, Pittsburg, CA (925)-439-0200 for more info

Nov 8th 9pm Cachaca Jazz 35 west 8th St. Greenwich Village, NYC (212)-388-9099