Bill Payne, Eva Lindal & Carol Liebowitz | Payne Lindal Liebowitz

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Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Avant Garde: Free Improvisation Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Payne Lindal Liebowitz

by Bill Payne, Eva Lindal & Carol Liebowitz

"high caliber musicianship and intelligent, electrifying artistry”—Hrayr Attarian, All About Jazz (November 2015)
Genre: Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ever Since
Bill Payne, Eva Lindal & Carol Liebowitz
7:17 $0.99
2. It Happened This Way
Bill Payne, Eva Lindal & Carol Liebowitz
2:11 $0.99
3. Unspoken
Bill Payne, Eva Lindal & Carol Liebowitz
3:29 $0.99
4. B/E
Bill Payne & Eva Lindal
2:10 $0.99
5. If Then
Bill Payne, Eva Lindal & Carol Liebowitz
4:32 $0.99
6. Glissade
Bill Payne & Carol Liebowitz
3:20 $0.99
7. Preludes
Bill Payne, Eva Lindal & Carol Liebowitz
8:41 $0.99
8. Holus Bolus
Bill Payne, Eva Lindal & Carol Liebowitz
2:59 $0.99
9. What We Are Saying
Bill Payne, Eva Lindal & Carol Liebowitz
10:55 $0.99
10. Blue Flame
Bill Payne, Eva Lindal & Carol Liebowitz
4:38 $0.99
11. 'Til Always
Bill Payne, Eva Lindal & Carol Liebowitz
6:35 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Bill Payne (clarinet), Eva Lindal (violin), and Carol Liebowitz (piano) take this most classic group of instruments— and turn it on its head, unleashing music that is 100% improvised. WIth nothing preconceived, they listen intently and spontaneously respond to each other creating music with a deeply felt mix of lyricism and intensity.

Voted one of the Top Ten Jazz CDs of 2015 by Art Lange (Point of Departure), 2015 NPR Jazz Critics Poll

“Clarinetist Bill Payne is a bold but sensitive improviser from the pianist Lennie Tristano’s school of musical thought. Violinist Eva Lindal has a solid footing in the Avant-Garde western classical tradition. Carol Liebowitz is an urbane and dramatic pianist who creates unique blends of jazz and free improvisation. All three have long associations with pianist Connie Crothers, herself a Tristano disciple.
On their eponymous release Payne/Lindal/Liebowitz they let loose a host of provocative and intriguing ideas with transforming moods and shifting harmonic colors. Although there are eleven distinct tracks on the album the concepts seamlessly flow from one to the other giving the record its unique cohesive structure.
The cinematic “It Happened This Way” for example is a pensive three-way stream of consciousness conversation that is delightfully abstract with crisp phraseology. Its pensive mood spills over to the haunting “Unspoken.” The extemporizations become sparser and weave in silent pauses. Payne’s darkly hued woodwind contributes a mystical touch while Liebowitz and her resonant cascade of keys and Lindal’s manipulated strings add an angular edge.
The entire music is spontaneously created during the session exhibiting a remarkable camaraderie among the members of the trio. Their stimulating exchanges range from the delightfully dissonant as on “B/E” to the lilting and, surprisingly, lyrical as on “Glissade.” On the former the passionate ad lib duet between Payne and Lindal climaxes into a unified and fiery melody filled with lithe acrobatics. On the latter Liebowitz and Payne exchange poetic phrases with a strong western classical influence. Liebowitz peppers Payne’s heady, mordant lines with atonal clusters of notes adding to the thrillingly tense ambience.
The first half of the intriguing “Preludes” showcases the individual musicians alone in the spotlight. Lindal opens with a wailing, eerie but emotive solo. Payne follows with an intricate and evocative monologue and Liebowitz enters with a series of percussive chords that brim with ardent energy and hypnotic beauty. The soliloquies merge forming a sublime crystalline sonic structure of shimmering hues.
Similarly the intense and gripping “What We Are Saying” is built like a mosaic from melodic fragments that each one of the performers contributes. Wordless vocals articulating a range of emotions accompany Lindal’s mesmerizing con arco drone. Payne, meanwhile, coaxes eloquent and wistful poetry out of his clarinet. Liebowitz’s vibrant and sonorous pianism enhances the expectant and vivid atmosphere. A melancholic collective performance brings the piece to a solemn conclusion.
This provocative and challenging album defies narrow genreism and may not appeal to the casual listener. Those with open minds and receptive ears, however, will find much to savor in the high caliber musicianship and intelligent, electrifying artistry that define the disc.”
—Hrayr Attarian, All About Jazz (November 2015)

"When Bill Payne and Connie Crothers released Conversations in 2008, it was clear that a clarinet player of immense talent and clear distinction was on the scene. While he has been active for many years in various contexts, he has also been woefully underdocumented. The first release on Carol Liebowitz’s Line Art label goes a considerable distance toward setting the situation right, in the context of this dynamic trio and in a beautifully recorded environment.
This is a group initiating and responding on many and varied levels. From Payne’s opening notes, gently breathed and almost ethereal, new subtleties in his playing are apparent. Listen as his first tone fades to silence, Eva Lindal picking up on his overtones with what might be shimmering harmonics but on which she then builds in slowly sliding upper register thirds. Carol Liebowitz provides foundational support while simultaneously answering Payne, the multileveled dialogue in these opening few seconds indicative of the multifaceted music to come. The trio sounds larger than it is, as Lindal’s double stops often work in gorgeous counterpoint with Payne’s sense of line, melodies achieving and relinquishing focus as Liebowitz adds further melodic layers. The relationships presented as a palimpsest in the opening piece are explored throughout the rest of the disc. Vaguely ethnic topoi and driven pointilisms pervade the brief, poignant and aptly named “B/E,” a duo improvisation for Payne and Lindal. Payne and Liebowitz have a chance to stretch on “Glissade,” while “Preludes” offers solos and group interactions. The concept is a wonderfully evocative one, and the group rhetoric, individual and in combination, renders the appellation entirely appropriate. These players’ vocabularies are worth discussing at some length. Simply put, they sound like no one else. This is not the “free jazz” where volume and intensity proceed in slow arc; completely eschewed are the marathon high-powered blowing sessions so common now in free improvisation. As with Andras Schiff’s most recent Bach recordings, we are given a soundscape in which each dynamic and rhythmic contrast is of the utmost importance. Tone and articulation are of a piece, and there isn’t a sound wasted, something that cannot be said for much of what passes for free improvisation.
The recording is superb. Liebowitz’s piano is panned so that it encompasses the other two musicians, who reside just left and right of center soundstage. Every detail is crisp and clear, and there is the slightest reverb to provide atmosphere, keeping dryness at bay. The recording captures the perfect environment for this supremely sensitive trio, from whom I hope we hear a lot more.
— Marc Medwin, Cadence Magazine (October 2015)

“This trio is quite an original group. It is comprised of pianist Carol Liebowitz, clarinetist Bill Payne and violinist Eva Lindal. The drawing on the inside cover is by Jeff Schlanger, an artist with a unique style, whose work with many avant-garde jazz musicians has often appeared on their albums. The trio’s music does not assault the listener, but is rather poised in the realm of a highly communicative chamber music, in which pure improvisation reigns supreme. The instruments seek each other out, the warm sound of the clarinet confronting the violin and its heterodox techniques, while the pianist provides a base that gives the trio substance, a tangible quality as an entity of spontaneous dialogue. All three musicians demonstrate a mastery of their respective instruments, with an intention to maintain a collective compactness, preventing the music from going astray. There is no shortage of fascinating moments: ‘Unspoken,’ in which the violin presents itself in pizzicato, or ‘B/E’ a duo between Lindal and Payne, which could be reminiscent of certain academic avant-garde moments, if not for the fact that the two were improvising and searching for new modes of expression. The long ‘What We Are Saying,’ over ten minutes of invention, is richly expressive, attentive to the unfolding of the event as it materializes in the studio. In addition to the instruments, Lindal’s voice also emerges, accompanying the evolutions of her violin. The clarinet, with a stupendous and warm sound, inserts itself perfectly in these moments. Completing the message of this album is ‘Crossing the Mojave and Into the Highlands of Arizona,’ a poem by Mark Weber, which is printed inside the jacket. The avant-garde of these three musicians presents itself delicately, almost tiptoeing, further captivating the listener’s interest. It is an intense album that will not go unnoticed.”
— Vittorio Lo Conte, (May 11, 2015), translation by Lorenzo Sanguedolce

“On paper, the instrumentation of the trio of clarinetist Bill Payne, violinist Eva Lindal and pianist Carol Liebowitz looks perfectly suited to some form of chamber music, if not classical compositions then something equally polite. But, the music produced by the threesome totally belies such expectations as it is totally improvised, with nothing preconceived. Of course, given that instrumentation, the music does still sound polite, but without the structure and formality of chamber music. So, “chamber improv” is a fitting description to do it justice.
Although the origins of the three are far apart geographically—Payne is from Illinois, Lindal from Stockholm and Liebowitz New York—and musically, they all eventually gravitated to free improvisation, each citing the improvising pianist Connie Crothers as crucial to that process. From the aural evidence of their debut recording’s eleven tracks, varying in length from two minutes to almost eleven, it is immediately obvious that the three are totally compatible as improvisers, already sounding as if they have years of improvising experience together.
As with most successful improv, the key to this trio’s compatibility is the presence of three distinct, separate voices that each have their own story to tell but not at the expense of the others. So, there is give and take between the three of them, with none of them being a leader throughout or having to take a backseat. When one player is in full flow, the others allow them space and provide support, safe in the knowledge that their turn will come.
The longest track, “What We Are Saying,” is the centrepiece and highlight of the album, its extended duration allowing the musicians greater freedom of expression, as exemplified by their use of voices to supplement the instruments. By comparison, some of the shorter tracks contain ideas that would have lent themselves to more extensive exploration. Another development for future consideration is raised by the track “B/E.” As its title hints, this piece is a clarinet-duo only involving Payne and Lindal, and is a very successful dialogue of equals. It would have been good to hear more such tracks, involving all possible duos and, maybe even some solo tracks too.
Throughout, the music flows easily and naturally. With plenty of improvised melodic lines vying for attention, none of the players ever sounds as if they need the crutch of notated music to help things along. The three combine sympathetically to create a comfortable soundscape that offers an accessible listening experience for those who may have previously shied away from such improvised music.”
—John Eyles, All About Jazz **** (June 14, 2015)

“...aimed at an attentive and sophisticated audience. It is in essence improvisational and closely related to the both New Jazz and academic contemporary avant-garde. The interweaving of the lines of the three instruments—clarinet, violin and piano — does not follow any obvious rules but a qualified connoisseur will be engaged by listening to the development of the musical interactions. . . . Clearly creative improvisation is the watchword of Line Art Records. We look forward to further releases by the Payne/Lindal/Liebowitz Trio and from the Line Art label.”
—by Leonid Auskern, (June 7, 2015)



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