Jazz On the Corner
Supporting Players: Victor Wooten, Jeff Coffin, Chester Thompson, James DaSilva, Chris Walters
Jazz is a distinctively American form of music. It was therefore not a surprise that when saxophonist and flautist David Liebman, one of the living legends of the Jazz world, came to America’s Music City, an overflow crowd awaited. The crowd was diverse in age and appearance which demonstrated the wide appeal of the music. It did not hurt that Liebman’s band for the night consisted of some of Nashville’s best and best known Jazz musicians.
Dave Liebman’s background includes seeing and hearing John Coletrane play in the legendary jazz clubs of New York in his youth, eventually playing with Coletrane’s drummer Elvin Jones, Miles Davis, Chick Corea, as well as forming his own bands and recording his own music for years. He is a dedicated music educator and ambassador for the art form.
On this night, his band included event organizer Jeff Coffin (Saxophone, Flute) and Victor Wooten (Bass) who played together with Bela Fleck and Flecktones for about a decade. Keyboardist Chris Walters, Guitarist James DaSilva, and Drummer Chester Thompson (Weather Report). The focus of the evening was one of Miles Davis’ most controversial records, On the Corner, which time proven to be one of his best.
The long, nearly unbroken set began with an earlier Miles Davis composition “In a Silent Way” and other than the initial introduction, in keeping with Davis’ refusal to name songs, no other song titles were mentioned which presents a particular challenge to this non-jazz expert music writer.
The music was spirited and the playing was impeccable. Coffin, who was clearing in awe of playing with one of his musicial heroes, seemed at ease when he was trading off riffs with Liebman. In the spirit of Jazz, each of the players were given moments to display their incredible abilities. Chester Thompson played one of the best drum solos I have ever witnessed and James DaSilva and Chris Walters were equally amazing. As a long-time Flecktone fan, I had high expectations of Victor Wooten, and he did not disappoint – laying down some of the funkiest grooves in the Jazz world. Beyond the crowd-pleasing solos, though, what was most impressive was the way this band came together as if they had been playing together for years.
Insanely innovative Saxophonist Pedrosaxo opened the night with three original compositions which pushed the limits of the Adolphe Sax’s invention to dizzying heights. “Selektron” which he described as dubstep was created without overdubs or electronic trickery just by Pedrosaxo playing without a mouthpiece. He also “sang” and played at the same time on a track called “Aqua” and explored Electro-House music (again with no accompaniment) with a track called “Oomph”.