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This group represents the first organized music I took an active part in with my long time associate, drummer Bob Moses and bassist Frank Tusa. The music looked towards the “chordless” groups of Sonny Rollins and Ornette Coleman with influences ranging from late Coltrane, world and 20th century contemporary music. The “Open Sky” recording was a live concert at the public radio station ,WBAI in New York City. “Spirit in the Sky” was recorded in the studio and features other artists with some overdubbing. As I look back over the decades, there is a freshness and openness in this music that represents my earliest endeavors in jazz, occurring at the same that I was serving my “apprenticeship” with Elvin Jones and Miles Davis.
- David Liebman

PMR-001 "Open Sky" © 1973


Dave Liebman

wooden flute, flute, clarinet, soprano and tenor saxes, percussion
Frank Tusa
bass, bells
Bob Moses
drums, kalimba

Flute Piece (Mike Garson) 9:11
Our Life (Bob Moses) Places (Dave Liebman) 12:50
Deep (Frank Tusa) 1:50
Questions (Dave Liebman) 10:45
Arb om Souple (Bob Moses) Constellation (Dave Liebman) 8:03
Devotion (Bob Moses) 8:07

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Flute Piece
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Our Life
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Places
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Deep
$.99
Questions
$1.09
Arb om Souple
$.99
Constellation
$.99
Devotion
$1.05


There is a lot of conviction here, an obviously intimate group love, and some very powerful music. These are the young turks of jazz, the ones on whom the future of jazz relies, and the music is quite fortunate for that.
Bob Rosenblum, "Valatie Grabs Jazz"

Open Sky is itself a skyward growth. Start side one and enter another dimension with the beckoning notes of Liebman's flute. From there, Open Sky's got you. Open Sky is a corroboration of three intensely exciting musicians working out a new musical order just a phrase different from the main output of today's commercially-oriented music business. Listen closely and you will hear familiar sounds but in totally new structures.

Side one opens with "Flute Piece" -- a softly jarring mix of double bass harmonics with flute until the drums enter and explode the piece into a lush rampage of jungle-birds twirling out around you and flickering off again into a hazy Castalugueengan sunset. "Deep" by Frank Tusa ends side one cool as a cucumber shufflin' down Main Street. "Questions" by Dave Liebman open side two and we're off again into an explosively dynamic mesh of contrapuntal harmonics. The drum solo seems almost like the intense fast-paced scurrying flight of birds across the drums, making me wonder if Moses' statement ("Saxophones are the birds...") wasn't a nit exclusive. Drums can be birds too, in Moses' hands. "Arb om souple" a transcription of a Castaluqueengan folk-song is as other-worldly as Castaluqueenga must be. It'll make you cock your ear a bit sideways and probably agree that it's the most interesting piece on the album. "Devotion" by Bob Moses ends side two in a deep, slowly evolving cycle of soul, dedicated to John Coltrane. It's soft and sad and intensely moving. "Music is an Open Sky" (Sonny Rollins) plus Open Sky is surely music -- in the highest degree. If you're interested in hearing some real music, some non-commericial music, get this album.

Liebman and his trio have a free-floewing feel much like... well, an open sky. And Liebman constantly steps out of the blue to play intoxicating flute, soprano, and tenor sax.
Eugene Chadbourne, The Calgary Herald


Liebman compares favorably with both giants [Rollins and Braxton], and brings Braxton's out-ness and Rollins' lyricism together. The name of the trio is taken from a Rollins quote -- "Music is an open sky;" Liebman and company have chosen well. Playing under an open sky means playing outside; they do it as well as anyone.
Neil Tesser

"I have just received my copy of Open Sky this morning and have neither stopped listening to it, nor begun my daily practicing -- man, what cana person say -- beautiful, beautiful work from everyone concerned."
Don Silverman

"Let America disband all the pseudo-jazz that's floating around and listen to this."
Jeff Sion

 

PMR-003 "Spirit in the Sky" © 1977


David Liebman
tenor and soprano saxophones, alto flute,
acoustic and electric pianos, and percussion
Frank Tusa
acoustic bass and percussion
Bob Moses
drums and vibraphone
Susan "Red" Bauer, Eleana Steinberg
and Steve Sattan voices

Amy (Robert Moses) 7:12
Come to Supper Tonight, Rada
(Bulgarian Folk Song, Traditional) 10:50
mfwala myo lala (Robert Moses) 3:30
Striving for Truth (Dave Liebman) 3:21
Bugs Bunny (Robert Moses) 6:49
Seeing You (Frank Tusa) 3:13
Spirit in the Sky (Dave Liebman) 3:28

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Amy
$1.04
Come to Supper
Tonight, Rada
$1.13
mfwala myo lala
$.99
Striving for Truth
$.99
Bugs Bunny
$1.02
Seeing You
$.99
Spirit in the Sky
$.99


This album presents the trio in varied musical settings, from the smoothness of "Amy" and "Come to Supper" to the sporadic Moses' composition "Bugs Bunny"; the delightful "Mfwala Myo Lala" and another miniature, the intense "Seeing You" effectively showcase the fine talent.
Jim Benson

Open Sky's latest, Spirit in the Sky, on Gene Perla's independent P.M. Records, is a particularlygood example of their free but fathomable music, often quite different from the usual stereotype of "avant-garde" jazz yet knit by a great sense of familiarity and easy interplay.
Peter Occhiogrosso

This is a much awaited follow-up to the previous effort of Open Sky (PMR-001). David Liebman continues his spirited explorations of sound: stemming from the Coltrane music, he continues opening up. The trio goes through a variety of forms covering an unusually wide range of colors and emotions, from a simple wistful melody to an outburst of hymnal fervor in the chantlike title track. "Spirit in the Sky" is the kind of record one returns to with increasing pleasure.
Jazz Forum

 

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Copyright 1997-2017 P. M. Records