Carol Liebowitz, piano
Nick Lyons, alto saxophone
by Vittorio Lo Conte
This is a live recording that captures a particularly inspired concert by the duo of Carol Liebowitz on piano and alto saxophonist, Nick Lyons. They were in the loft of the recently passed Connie Crothers, who also served as the recording engineer. Only the last track on the album, “Another Time,” was recorded in a studio. Theirs is a delicate and suffused music, with a “liquid” piano and a saxophone played objectively, without vibrato, meeting in an atmosphere that nevertheless draws you in, perhaps because of its originality, or perhaps because beneath the apparent tranquility on the surface runs a deep energy. “Carol’s Dream” opens the set, which is closed by “Roy’s Joy,” two compositions by Crothers. The rest of the tracks are free improvisations with melodic lines, harmonies, spontaneously-created themes springing from a moment’s inspiration, digging deeply into the meanderings that are hidden within the ideas of the performers. Some things are just brilliant, the long “The Very Thing,” for example—eight minutes in which the music proceeds intimately, almost as in a flashback of ideas, dense with meaning. The duo’s avant-gardism seems accessible, communicative, rich with ideas, even simple and enjoyable. “Reverie on a Sunday Afternoon” and “Ephemera” represent an ethereal music, rooted in jazz, but ultimately evading any classification. “Roy’s Joy,” with the alto sax’s beautiful lines, clean and precise, is a truly inspired performance. “Another Time,” which closes out the album, is a subtle, alluring ballad. The two musicians know how to seduce the listener and leave a deep mark in his state of being. Their performance is one of those that, for some reason, draws you back to listen again to discover and appreciate new aspects.
November 18, 2016
translation by Lorenzo Sanguedolce