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Dave Liebman

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Dave Liebman, Loakout Farm, ECM 1039 Liebman is only the latest of the dozens of good eggs hatched in and flown from Mother Miles Davis' Coop of Plenty during the past twenty years. The hornblower's leap to ECM follows a relatively brief stay with Miles in '72 and '73 as part of a band that remained (mostly) anonymous due to the latest irritating turn of Miles' longstanding hostility to press and public alike. Despite the secrecy, Liebman managed to make his name shine in the minds of the cognoscenti through the personal strength of his playing. Lookout Farm is at once the name of his new quartet, their new album, and the title cut. With Liebman, who plays soprano and tenor saxes and flute, are a trio of relative unknowns including Richard Beirach, electric, acoustic piano; Frank Tusa, electric, acoustic bass; and Jeff Williams, drums, with help from such talented friends as John Abercrombie, guitars; and Don Alias, congas, bongos. The total effect of the balance of the album shifts between something akin to Chick Corea's featherlight touch and Sly Stone's snaky thumping. "Sam's Float" builds from a gentle, Latin groove to funk a la Cogham and you wait to no avail for Leibman to extend the limited emotional range defined by Joe Farrell - Joe Henderson. So you flip this flop over to Side Two for all the sprawling "M.D.Lookout Farm." Your rewards are the distinctive tastes of Beirach's somber, intelligent piano in the tender tribute to Miles and the final soaring ten minutes or so of "Lookout Farm." This is an agitated jazz eruption from the bare quartet where the mercilessly-goaded Liebman adds a thin Coltrane crust to his bleeding highs. Also, the standard, acid-clear, ECM production is an added bonus. Altogether, Lookout Farm is moments of exhiliration rubbed against a backdrop of funkyidreaminess. More than pleasant, j less than revelatory.