Dave Liebman/Phil Robson Quartet, RNCM, 31 January 2008

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With the raw expressionism of John Coltrane, the punchy ballistics of Michael Brecker, the harmonic invention of Wayne Shorter: saxophonist Dave Liebman tells the story of the modern jazz saxophone. Particularly memorable was his meditative rendition of Coltrane’s ‘India’. As engaging as any solo was his magnanimous stage presence; the hunched shoulders, the facial contortions and the limp. You could feel the blood and sweat of an artist truly committed to what he really believes is important. Dave Liebman/Phil Robson Quartet, RNCM, 31 January 2008
Drawing together the exhilarating bebop of Wes Montgomery, the spaciousness of Bill Frisell, the rocky edginess of Schofield, Phil Robson is a first-rate jazz guitarist. But despite the staggering ability, his dour stage presence took away from the energy of the band. What should have been inspirational felt almost dogmatic. You could sense the audience begging him to undo the top button, embrace his staggering talent and let himself go a little.

Owen Hewson