Order 3 or more physical items and get 1¢ shipping
David Kane, David Liebman et al | Grey Matters

Go To Artist Page

Recommended if You Like
Art Lande Chick Corea Keith Jarrett

Album Links
David Kane Emusic GroupieTunes Nexhit PassAlong Tradebit MusicIsHere PayPlay Apple iTunes

More Artists From
United States - Maryland

Other Genres You Will Love
Jazz: Bebop Jazz: Free Jazz Moods: Type: Improvisational
There are no items in your wishlist.

Grey Matters

by David Kane, David Liebman et al

Contemporary acoustic jazz featuring burning straight ahead playing balanced with nuanced lyricism
Genre: Jazz: Bebop
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Sign up for the CD Baby Newsletter
Your email address will not be sold for any reason.
Continue Shopping
available for download only
Share to Google +1

To listen to tracks you will need to update your browser to a recent version.

  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Grey Matters
David Kane
6:44 $0.99
clip
2. Moon and Shadow
David Kane
6:07 $0.99
clip
3. Stealth Plan
David Kane
8:41 $0.99
clip
4. Catching Threads
David Kane
8:55 $0.99
clip
5. Crypto-Zoology
David Kane
3:50 $0.99
clip
6. Winter Rose
David Kane
6:39 $0.99
clip
7. Sparks
David Kane
0:41 $0.99
clip
8. Revenge of the Wally Dug
David Kane
6:00 $0.99
clip
9. Unified Fields
David Kane
4:28 $0.99
clip
10. Solo Improvisation
David Kane
1:23 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
About This CD

This recording represents my return to the world of Jazz after a multi year hiatus. I had abandoned all virtually all jazz playing in recent years due to several factors: depression over the woeful state of the pianos available at most venues; a very busy period as a composer for TV and film, a burgeoning family and other factors too tiresome to enumerate here. I thought I wouldn't miss jazz too much as I had an alternative creative outlet through composing both film and classical music. It turned out that I was wrong. Being away from jazz became increasingly uncomfortable and I felt that a spring was being slowly wound up within me. This CD is the happy release of that spring. In returning to the studio, I was most fortunate to obtain the aid of some of the finest musicians in Jazz:

Mike Smith- an inexplicably overlooked master of modern jazz drumming and an uncommonly sensitive musician. Mike brings vast experience and an uncannily keen ear to any rhythm section he plays with. Playing with Mike has been an ongoing inspiration to me for the many years he has been kind enough to show up at my gigs and I consider him one of my teachers.

Drew Gress- I've also had the pleasure of playing with Drew for many years. He, Mike, Glenn Cashman and myself played as a quartet for several years in the 80's and 90's. Drew has a fantastic sound, rapport, wit and is immensely creative both as a player and composer. Internationally, Drew is already a force to be reckoned with and a figure to watch closely over the coming years. Warning: do not ask him to recite his "limericks".

David Liebman. Mere superlatives do not do justice to the spirit, creativity, expressive sound and virtuosity that Dave brings to this and all his musical experiences. He is an undisputed giant of Twentieth Century Jazz and he continues to build from that position in the Twenty First Century.



About the Music. As it is Jazz, most of the "real" music is created by the improvisers, but about these are the frames and spars through which the improvisations are threaded:

Grey Matters -This tune's insistence on being written down and refusal to vacate my brain until I had done so marked the point which led to this CD. Of note here, is Dave Liebman's serene navigation through an obtuse and perplexing harmonic maze.

Moon and Shadow - The majority of this piece was written in about 30 minutes except for the F7 chord in bar 12 that somehow took me two days to find.

Stealth Plan -. Bits and pieces of this were knocking about in my head for a long time and finally gelled one day in November 2004

Catching Threads - The title is a Chinese allusion to the invisible red threads that are said to connect orphans to their future adoptive parents.

Crypto-Zoology - From day two and an homage to Ornette Coleman and the "free jazz" his innovations spawned.

A Winter Rose -I was thinking about Duke Ellington when I wrote this and this was an attempt to emulate the warmth (if not the style) emanating from so many of his beautiful ballads.

Sparks -this was a brief improvisation. I like my free jazz short and snappy.

Revenge of the Wally Dug - It would take too long to explain this ridiculous title, but this piece is yet another example of my Celtic/Jazz hybrid compositions. Someday I'll do a CD of all of those tunes.

Unified Fields -One of the few tunes I play that still challenges me every time I play it. The title came from imagining Albert Einstein half remembering a Joni Mitchell concert.

Solo Improvisation - I sat down and improvised this as the guys packed up their stuff. It has an appropriate feeling of finality to it that persuaded me to include it here.

Read more...

Reviews


to write a review

Fred Karns

...this collection is evidence that he has used his free time productively.
If it can be said of skillfully written prose, that it is lyrical, or, more often, of well-crafted lyric poetry, that it is musical, then, conversely, might it not also be said of certain music, that it is descriptive, or poetic? I think so, and I think the music on Dave Kane’s ‘Grey Matters” is such music.

Listening to the performances in this collection is very much like eavesdropping on a conversation between four extremely knowledgeable friends, who are discussing and analyzing ideas that are about things that seem somehow familiar, but are , at the same time, brand new, until we realize that it is not so much the subject matter being discussed, but, rather, the perspectives of these four friends that makes the discussion seem to be about something we had not thought of or heard before. And, after listening for awhile, we realize that they are not having a private discussion, one which excludes us, the unseen listeners, but instead, they are talking to us, and inviting us into their conversation. It is for our benefit that they are having this discussion.

So much of the ‘serious jazz’ currently being written and released seems to be so much the product of purely masturbatory fantasies, that one wonders why the composer and the musicians bother to release it at all, since it seems not to be intended for anyone’s enjoyment or understanding except those who conceived and performed it—all sturm und drang. It would seem, that, perhaps, at least based on some of the recent jazz recordings I’ve listened to, that it might serve the artists who conceive this kind of ‘product’, to not move beyond the conception stage. They could save themselves a lot of money, and the listeners a lot of angst, if they simply moved from idea to idea without leaving any tangible evidence of their conceptions. And God forbid that it should be able to be understood at any level other than a purely exclusive academic level, or from the standpoint of being so inside that it has no meaning whatsoever to anyone except those directly involved in its production. Wynton Marsalis tells us that, if the music doesn’t reflect the African-American experience, it isn’t jazz anyway. (I’m not sure; do they teach the African-American experience at Julliard?)

But why limit the potential for the broad appeal of a music that speaks from a diversity of experience and influence by affixing any specific label to it? It doesn’t have to be called ‘jazz’,or ‘post-bop’, or anything, except, that is, ‘good’—or ‘great’, or ‘just plain-old-a-pleasure-to-listen-to’, and that is just what the pieces in this collection are. They are emotional, they are surprising, they are reflective, evocative, intelligent, humorous, and an absolute pleasure to listen to, over, and over again.

It is at this point that I must dispense with any attempt at objectivity in my remarks about ‘Grey Matters’. I have known three of these amazing musicians for a number of years, particularly Dave Kane. He and I have collaborated on many film score projects together, as well as having sat together in too many orchestra pits, looking at our watches, wondering if 11o’clock would ever come.

Now, what about the music and the playing on this CD? Well, first of all, the playing is remarkable in it cohesiveness, and in its respect for the ensemble. This kind of playing is not possible without each of the players having complete confidence in the others. Yet, at the same time, the indivduality of each of the musicians is clearly present. Nobody says anything unless they have something to say. There is no display of chops just for the sake of showing off, although everybody obviously brought their chops to this session. Clearly, there are lots of tools in the toolbox, but they are only used when they need to be used to get a specific job done. It takes a lot of confidence in one’s abilities to participate in this kind of conversation. It also takes a lot of trust in the other players to pull this kind of music off. I can’t imagine a group of musicians with more singleness of vision than these four demonstrate on these pieces.

Elegance is a word that comes easily to mind when describing the playing on this set. Although these pieces are all freshly written for this recording, they are all played as if they have been in the repertoire for years. That does not mean that these pieces are predictable or trite, but instead, it means that these guys know what they are doing, and they present these pieces in a way that makes them feel comfortable.

Mike Smith has been ‘the’ jazz drummer for an awful lot of players for a very long time. He shows on this album, as he shows on everything he does, why he has that moniker. He listens, and he thinks, and he builds with complete originality on everything around him. He lets a soloist go anywhere he might venture, and he is always there waiting at the end. Mike is also a drummer who reminds us that a drum set, in the right hands, is an interpretive, and subtle musical instrument of many colors.

Drew Gress, who is himself a fine composer as well as one the best jazz soloists there is, is another ‘safety-net’ player. He will let you do anything you want to try, and he will be there for you. You will not fall down with him standing beside you. His solos are constructed as one would expect from such a fine composer, building from the tiniest fragment to fully-formed compositions, with the most singing, beautiful tone of any bassist in the business. And, you can hear every single note and are convinced that each note is , not only necessary, but in its exact right place. Imagine that!

Dave Liebman is one of those players who is generally referred to as one ‘who needs no introduction’. If the practice of ‘no introduction’ had been followed in all the cases where it has been applied, nobody would have ever heard of anybody, much less have been introduced to them. Dave Leibman should surprise none of us with his beautiful, lyrical sound, and the easy intelligence of his playing,but I think it’s nice to be reminded of just what a pleasure it is to hear this particular guy who needs no introduction.

I have heard people compare Dave Kane’s playing to Keith Jarrett or Herbie Hancock. It’s a flattering comparison, certainly, but I think this sort of comparison does him a disservice. It is more a way of compartmentalizing information so that those who don’t know his playing will have some sort of reference or schema with which they are familiar. I think, however, that Dave’s playing is only half of the treasure. His writing, which is a jewel separate from his playing, as you will hear on this CD, comes from having spent a very long time listening to everything, not only jazz, (Check out the ‘Ivesian’ intro to my favorite, Moon and Shadow) but anything that might catch his broad interest. And from having analyzed everything he has listened to, and thought about it, and from having tried a lot of ways of expressing what he has thought about it, he has developed the ability to assume any identity he wants to assume, and, at the same time, to assume that identiy in a way that is unmistakably his own. I can think of no better compliment than to hear a piece of unfamiliar music, and to have the thought cross my mind that it reminds me of Dave Kane’s music.

. Fortunately, 11o’ clock did come for Dave and his friends, and this collection is evidence that he used his free time productively.
Read more...

Fred Karns

...this collection is evidence that he has used his free time productively.
If it can be said of skillfully written prose, that it is lyrical, or, more often, of well-crafted lyric poetry, that it is musical, then, conversely, might it not also be said of certain music, that it is descriptive, or poetic? I think so, and I think the music on Dave Kane’s ‘Grey Matters” is such music.

Listening to the performances in this collection is very much like eavesdropping on a conversation between four extremely knowledgeable friends, who are discussing and analyzing ideas that are about things that seem somehow familiar, but are , at the same time, brand new, until we realize that it is not so much the subject matter being discussed, but, rather, the perspectives of these four friends that makes the discussion seem to be about something we had not thought of or heard before. And, after listening for awhile, we realize that they are not having a private discussion, one which excludes us, the unseen listeners, but instead, they are talking to us, and inviting us into their conversation. It is for our benefit that they are having this discussion.

So much of the ‘serious jazz’ currently being written and released seems to be so much the product of purely masturbatory fantasies, that one wonders why the composer and the musicians bother to release it at all, since it seems not to be intended for anyone’s enjoyment or understanding except those who conceived and performed it—all sturm und drang. It would seem, that, perhaps, at least based on some of the recent jazz recordings I’ve listened to, that it might serve the artists who conceive this kind of ‘product’, to not move beyond the conception stage. They could save themselves a lot of money, and the listeners a lot of angst, if they simply moved from idea to idea without leaving any tangible evidence of their conceptions. And God forbid that it should be able to be understood at any level other than a purely exclusive academic level, or from the standpoint of being so inside that it has no meaning whatsoever to anyone except those directly involved in its production. Wynton Marsalis tells us that, if the music doesn’t reflect the African-American experience, it isn’t jazz anyway. (I’m not sure; do they teach the African-American experience at Julliard?)

But why limit the potential for the broad appeal of a music that speaks from a diversity of experience and influence by affixing any specific label to it? It doesn’t have to be called ‘jazz’,or ‘post-bop’, or anything, except, that is, ‘good’—or ‘great’, or ‘just plain-old-a-pleasure-to-listen-to’, and that is just what the pieces in this collection are. They are emotional, they are surprising, they are reflective, evocative, intelligent, humorous, and an absolute pleasure to listen to, over, and over again.

It is at this point that I must dispense with any attempt at objectivity in my remarks about ‘Grey Matters’. I have known three of these amazing musicians for a number of years, particularly Dave Kane. He and I have collaborated on many film score projects together, as well as having sat together in too many orchestra pits, looking at our watches, wondering if 11o’clock would ever come.

Now, what about the music and the playing on this CD? Well, first of all, the playing is remarkable in it cohesiveness, and in its respect for the ensemble. This kind of playing is not possible without each of the players having complete confidence in the others. Yet, at the same time, the indivduality of each of the musicians is clearly present. Nobody says anything unless they have something to say. There is no display of chops just for the sake of showing off, although everybody obviously brought their chops to this session. Clearly, there are lots of tools in the toolbox, but they are only used when they need to be used to get a specific job done. It takes a lot of confidence in one’s abilities to participate in this kind of conversation. It also takes a lot of trust in the other players to pull this kind of music off. I can’t imagine a group of musicians with more singleness of vision than these four demonstrate on these pieces.

Elegance is a word that comes easily to mind when describing the playing on this set. Although these pieces are all freshly written for this recording, they are all played as if they have been in the repertoire for years. That does not mean that these pieces are predictable or trite, but instead, it means that these guys know what they are doing, and they present these pieces in a way that makes them feel comfortable.

Mike Smith has been ‘the’ jazz drummer for an awful lot of players for a very long time. He shows on this album, as he shows on everything he does, why he has that moniker. He listens, and he thinks, and he builds with complete originality on everything around him. He lets a soloist go anywhere he might venture, and he is always there waiting at the end. Mike is also a drummer who reminds us that a drum set, in the right hands, is an interpretive, and subtle musical instrument of many colors.

Drew Gress, who is himself a fine composer as well as one the best jazz soloists there is, is another ‘safety-net’ player. He will let you do anything you want to try, and he will be there for you. You will not fall down with him standing beside you. His solos are constructed as one would expect from such a fine composer, building from the tiniest fragment to fully-formed compositions, with the most singing, beautiful tone of any bassist in the business. And, you can hear every single note and are convinced that each note is , not only necessary, but in its exact right place. Imagine that!

Dave Liebman is one of those players who is generally referred to as one ‘who needs no introduction’. If the practice of ‘no introduction’ had been followed in all the cases where it has been applied, nobody would have ever heard of anybody, much less have been introduced to them. Dave Leibman should surprise none of us with his beautiful, lyrical sound, and the easy intelligence of his playing,but I think it’s nice to be reminded of just what a pleasure it is to hear this particular guy who needs no introduction.

I have heard people compare Dave Kane’s playing to Keith Jarrett or Herbie Hancock. It’s a flattering comparison, certainly, but I think this sort of comparison does him a disservice. It is more a way of compartmentalizing information so that those who don’t know his playing will have some sort of reference or schema with which they are familiar. I think, however, that Dave’s playing is only half of the treasure. His writing, which is a jewel separate from his playing, as you will hear on this CD, comes from having spent a very long time listening to everything, not only jazz, (Check out the ‘Ivesian’ intro to my favorite, Moon and Shadow) but anything that might catch his broad interest. And from having analyzed everything he has listened to, and thought about it, and from having tried a lot of ways of expressing what he has thought about it, he has developed the ability to assume any identity he wants to assume, and, at the same time, to assume that identiy in a way that is unmistakably his own. I can think of no better compliment than to hear a piece of unfamiliar music, and to have the thought cross my mind that it reminds me of Dave Kane’s music.

. Fortunately, 11o’ clock did come for Dave and his friends, and this collection is evidence that he used his free time productively.
Read more...

Benoît Rouits

finest modern jazz
This recording let us hear to the finest modern jazz.
Read more...

Cadence Jazz Magazine

A Model of how good a mainstream trio can be
Kane’s limber group on (2)pursues general- ly soft-toned impressionistic post-Bop, heavy on the circuitous lines, dense harmonies, and quirky syncopations beloved by fans of this style. The pianist-leader has a great band, held together by the gifted Gress (whose work in Fred Hersch’s trio has conferred upon him just the right experience for this kind of gig). Smith is a very tasteful player, given to accents similar to those of Michael Sarin but in a more understated style. And of course Liebman lifts up every session he’s on, playing with both taste and fire (I’m particularly fond of the bouncing unison he shares with Kane on “Stealth Plan”).
The tasteful lilt of “Moon and Shadows” again conjures up Hersch, and is really a model of how good a mainstream trio can be, not so much exploring linear extension as moving in tandem with a fascinating threeway conversation revealing new details on each listen. Though the group never cranks up the volume or lays it on tastelessly (though they get pretty raucous for the apart-at-the-seams swing of “Revenge of the Wally Dug”), they sound best to me on the more busy pieces. Instead of the impressionistic but unmemorable “Catching Threads,” I’ll take the hyper-tricky, almost George Russell-ish head on “Crypto-Zoology”—with a great duo section for Liebman’s soprano and Smith—or Kane’s shifting rhythms and quick-moving imagination on “Winter Rose” and “Unified Fields.” Fine stuff overall.
Read more...