Jean-Paul Celea, David Liebman, Wolfgang Reisinger: My Favorite Things


My Favorite Things


Jean-Paul Celea, David Liebman, and Wolfgang Reisinger


Ghosts (NIght Wing)

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Dave Liebman (tenor sax),

Jean-Paul Celea (bass), Wolfgang Reisinger (drums)


Composed by Rodgers and Hammerstein


Recorded: March 26 or 27, 2001


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

The album from whence this track comes has the trio of Celea, Liebman, and Reisinger interpreting several songs written or made famous by such great saxophonists as Albert Ayler, Wayne Shorter, Ornette Coleman, and, in this case, John Coltrane. It takes guts (or gall) for Liebman—a saxophonist who's been so profoundly influenced by Trane—to record the master's "greatest hit." More than almost any other jazz musician, Coltrane made certain tunes his own ... "My Favorite Things," especially. Comparisons can be avoided only with conscious effort (although it certainly doesn't take an unusually insightful reviewer to point out either the essential differences or similarities between teacher and disciple).

Liebman subverts expectations by playing the tune on tenor instead of soprano, whilst the rhythm section renders a heavy, odd-time vamp that in terms of feel (if not composition) more resembles Coltrane's "Spiritual" (from Live at the Village Vanguard) than his original version of "My Favorite Things." Liebman is his usual technically astounding self, and he plays with characteristic passion and eloquence. Drummer Reisinger channels Elvin Jones fairly remarkably, and bassist Celea is a sturdy groove-maker. The music is well-played and inspired in its way. As much as this writer esteems Liebman, however, the group's very decision to approach such iconic material seems contrived and perhaps ego-driven. That perception gets in the way of the music—for this listener, anyway.

Reviewer: Chris Kelsey

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