Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Brecker, Liebman and Lovano Gather for a Summit

On August 18 Telarc will release A Gathering of Spirits, the debut album from the trio of saxophonists Michael Brecker, David Liebman and Joe Lovano, known collectively as Saxophone Summit. The trio is joined on the six-track album by a rhythm section comprised of pianist Phil Markowitz, bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Billy Hart.

Lovano’s “Alexander the Great,” a composition based on the chord changes of “Bye Bye Blackbird,” opens A Gathering of Spirits. Two works by John Coltrane, “India” and “Peace on Earth,” and Brecker’s title track, which is reminiscent of Coltrane’s “The Father, Son, Holy Ghost,” are also featured.

The members of the trio, which has been playing together periodically since 1996, are longtime friends, providing a level of support and trust to the music.

“Long relationships add to the music,” Liebman said. “Listeners can’t help but feel the effect of people playing together who respect and like each other.”

Brecker agreed: “Because we have such well-formed musical personalities, when we play together, we create a beautiful matrix, a really fascinating juxtaposition of sounds, colors and rhythmic approaches.”

Brecker, one of the most recorded saxophonists in music, has collaborated with musicians like Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and McCoy Tyner. He has won 11 Grammys from his nine recordings.

Liebman developed an interest in jazz after seeing Coltrane perform, and went on to work with Miles Davis and Elvin Jones. After working with numerous musicians, Liebman formed the Dave Liebman Group in the 1990s, with which he has recorded extensively. Their latest release, In a Mellow Tone, features guitarist Vic Juris.

Lovano has released 23 albums since 1985 with musicians like Michael Petrucciani, Dave Holland and Elvin Jones. His latest, I’m All for You: The Ballad Songbook, features pianist Hank Jones.

A Gathering of Spirits track list:

Alexander the Great

12th Man


Peace on Earth

Tricycle Bass

Gathering of Spirits

Originally Published