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David Liebman: Self-Portrait Of A Jazz Artist by David Liebman

Perhaps the most widely diversified and verbally articulate jazzman to have emerged in the wake of John Coltrane, soprano saxist David Liebman has not only established a firm identity as an instrumentalist, composer, and bandleader, but he is also an experienced and devoted teacher, clinician, lecturer, writer and the major force behind the International Association of Schools of Jazz. A former tenorman and flutist who had worked with both rock groups and Elvin Jones’ two-sax combo before joining Miles Davis’ heavily amplified fusion band of 1972, he ultimately decided to concentrate on soprano, primarily because its higher pitch could penetrate more easily through the dense, noisy, and muddled ensemble sound, itself still a sore point with mature admirers of early Miles.

In this enlarged and revised second edition of his Self-Portrait, Liebman presents his views on the artistic process, the creation of music, and teaching, as well as offering chapters on his own musical background and experiences, the basis of his art, and random ruminations on jazz. Appended to his core are transcriptions of probing question/answer-type interviews conducted by longstanding friends and fellow saxmen Gunnar Mossblad and Christopher Collins, Liebman’s annotated list of ten favorite jazz recordings, quoted excerpts from Larry Fisher’s book and other addenda.

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