Dave Liebman & Gil Goldstein: A Boy Like That / I Have a Love
A Boy Like That / I Have a Love
West Side Story Today (Owl 984 755 6)
Composed by Leonard Bernstein.
Recorded: New York, September 29-30, 1990
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
West Side Story revamps its Shakespearean source most clearly in the final scenes, as "Juliet" (that is, Maria) does not kill herself but instead pleads for peace between the rival gangs. Most jazz versions skirt the score's last few numbers, but saxman Dave Liebman and keyboard whiz Gil Goldstein link two of them in eight minutes of astonishing, adventurous balladry. That actually summarizes much of West Side Story Today (released originally in 1991), with Dave taking almost all the solos and Gil providing backdrops ranging from Weather Report synth-funk to bizarre mecho-screaming.
The medley "A Boy Like That / I Have a Love" dances around dated synthesizer sounds. Leibman sticks to tenor sax, talking with it in the first tune, getting at the number's back-and-forth argument, over a bubbling pseudo-organ that riffs from soul-trio grease to horror-film suspense. Moving seamlessly into "I Have a Love," Dave plays pretty the rest of the way, shifting high and dropping back, exploring the tenor's upper range while Gil, on his programmed keyboard, taps out gentle chords and thoughtful notes that resonate like vibes.
In his historical and somewhat spiritual liner notes, Liebman names "I Have a Love" as his favorite tune from the musical, and it definitely shows, beautiful to the end.
Reviewer: Ed Leimbacher