firstset_sm

Carol Liebowitz, piano
Nick Lyons, alto saxophone

FIRST SET

By Dick Metcalf

Since my own jazz orientation is towards improvised jazz piano (you can check some of that out at my Zzaj Productions Internet Archive), I am always looking for high-caliber performers who understand that “improv” isn’t just action & reaction… it must be true talent that guides the players on their free-form explorations… well, as you’ll hear on the superb “Turquoise Echo,” Carol’s piano and Nick’s alto sax work perfectly together to prove their jazz mettle!

I hear the influences of our dearly departed friend Connie Crothers in Carol’s piano, which makes sense, since Carol studied with her (as well as many others)… the fact that this is recorded live makes it a true gem, too… the recording focus is on the playing, but you also get some really nice audience reaction woven in as well. The playful spirit you’ll hear on the blues-rooted “Roy’s Joy” will make your day turn from overcast to brilliantly shining… I absolutely loved the interaction between the duo on this piece; totally alive!

Of the eight improvisations offered up, it is the gentle flow of the 7:51 opener, “Carol’s Dream,” that got my pick for personal favorite. If you love improvised piano, this January 2017 release comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me; it gets an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.

Contemporary Fusion Review
January 15, 2017