Dave Liebman pays tribute to John Coltrane with new album Selflessness

The new album by NEA Jazz Master and Grammy-nominated saxophonist Dave Liebman pays tribute to the music of his most primary source of influence and inspiration.

Due to be released Sept. 3 (the day before Liebman’s 75th birthday), Selflessness features nine John Coltrane classics newly reimagined by Liebman and his Expansions group.

Liebman was 15 years old when he first saw Coltrane at Birdland in 1962, which first sparked his passion for jazz. “Once you see the light, you can never turn away from it, though you may try,” he recounts in his autobiography. “I went to see Coltrane from then on, anytime I could.”

Selflessness is the latest in Liebman’s catalogue of music honouring Coltrane, which includes 1987’s Homage to John Coltrane, 1993’s Joy: The Music of John Coltrane with the Dave Liebman Big Band, 1997’s John Coltrane’s Meditations, 2010’s Lieb Plays the Blues à la Trane, and 2017’s Compassion with Joe Lovano.

On this latest recording, Liebman returns to playing exclusively the soprano sax, the instrument for which he became best known. He’s joined by alto player Matt Vashlishan, pianist Bobby Avey, drummer Alex Ritz and bassist Tony Marino.

The album comes with liner notes by Lewis Porter.

To celebrate the release, Liebman will perform at the newly reopened Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center Sept. 4-5.

Here’s the track listing for Selflessness:

  1. Mr. Day
  2. Compassion
  3. My Favorite Things
  4. Ole
  5. Lazy Bird
  6. Peace on Earth
  7. One Up One Down
  8. Selflessness
  9. Dear Lord

Selflessness arrives Sept. 3 via Dot Time Records.


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