At the beginning of the concert, with a primitive flute, the veteran jazzman Dave Liebman seems to call for recollection and, at the same time, invoke the spirit of Coltrane, to whom the night was dedicated. Perhaps a respectful way to ask permission to enter the universe of a musician who was distinguished by his tendency to spirituality, especially in the years when the show wanted to travel that stretch of his life that goes from the beginning of his collaboration with Miles Davis (1955) until his premature death in 1967. A period of intensity imaginable only from his dizzying creative evolution, although music was not his only activity at that stage.
Dave Liebman &Guillermo McGill Group
Dave Liebman: Tenor and soprano Saxos, flute. Guillermo McGuill: Drums and percussion. Ana Salazar: Sing and dance. Belén Maya: Dance. Juan Diego Mateos: Guitar. Mezquida frame: Piano. Reinier Elizarde Negrón: Double bass. Jon Andión: Recited poems. Artistic direction: Juana Casado. Poems: Jon Andión. Flamenco lyrics: Luz Valenciano.
It was an old and longed-for project by drummer, composer and arranger Guillermo McGuill, who brought together a luxury combo for the occasion, especially for the superb participation of saxophonist Liebman, a wise man in a state of mature grace, who says things with a clarity within the reach of few. His harmony with the project and with the band, expressed explicitly with his hands, proved an eloquent demonstration of the evolution of the proposal on stage. His charismatic presence was not the only one to contribute to the same sensation: the group, assembled expressly for the occasion, sounded assembled as if it were known throughout his life. It is what has to gather genius and sensitivity.
McGuill wanted to do this by counting on flamenco, music that Coltrane peeked into his recording Ole, a topic that did not miss the appointment. It's not the only reason: to him flamenco is close by many experiences, the penultimate, the tribute to the legendary guitarist Ramón Montoya, which also featured the intervention of Liebman, which was transferred in part to his latest album, It's time to walk (2016). As in that recording, he once again had the Jerez-born guitarist Juan Diego Mateos, capable of transcending the flamenco trace to enter into dialogue with the band. He did it very beautifully with the double bass that sketched the beautiful melody of My one and only love, one of the most lyrical moments of the concert.
It happened after the appearance on stage of the dancer Belén Maya, which Mateos accompanied in the key of farruca. She represented a mysterious Alice, the second love of the saxophonist. The first, immortalized in the beautiful ballad that bears his name, Naima, Ana Salazar incarnated with that recognized versatility to act, sing and dance. In it resided a certain youthful innocence, illusions and smiles by bulerías, but also the pain of breaking and nostalgia. In the end, Naima would sing for alegrías for Alice's bata de cola dance in a positive and even optimistic closing.
As it could not be otherwise, in addition to the affections, the concert made a tour of the musical evolution of Coltrane in those twelve intense and last years of his life. The elegance cool, the freedom of freejazz, the ever-present sensitivity for ballads … Perhaps the colophon of a date will be missed A Love Supreme, for many his masterpiece. For the purpose, in addition to the aforementioned Liebman, the combo contributed as effectively as brilliantly. The contrabass of Negrón, and it did not stop surprising the finesse and delicacy, the fluidity in the speech, of the young pianist Mezquida. And McGuill multiplied on the drums and in the direction. Because you could say that with such a band you can tell any story, but you also need a lot of rigor and lucidity to put the story to work with the conjunction of so many languages.