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as artist

"...swinging...authentic...beautiful..."
--Jazz Times


"Lieberman [uses] two ensembles:..and displays, quite brilliantly, the commonalities of these music heritages.  Two ensembles, two sets of compositions, two sources of music...a single cohesive album that flows wondrously from first note to last...high musicianship displayed with emotion, laid bare... Ibeji is a hell of an accomplishment, and it easily ranks in the Top Five of my favorite albums of 2011."
--Bird Is The Worm


"Good god, this song is beautiful. It sent chills up my spine... When the year ends, this album will undoubtedly receive some Top Ten recognition.”
--All About Jazz


"Lieberman demonstrates his instrumental mastery and also reveals himself as a formidable composer... He is a soulful player on any instrument, conveying deep emotional content... Lieberman's affection for both American jazz and Brazilian music is evident in his compositions and arrangements...and his excellent performance."
--All About Jazz

 

"...fluent and profound"

 

--Eugene Friesen, four-time Grammy winning cellist


"When you listen to Paul Lieberman play the flute or the saxophone you aren’t sure if you’re in New York or you’re in Rio. His lilts and riffs carry you along with the throb of the beat from the jungle and then they drop you into brick wall jazz basements and smoky music clubs. From 1985 to 1989 he lived in Brazil and was so thoroughly assimilated into its music scene that he was taken for a native and he became the first call studio sax and flute player in the country, recording over 50 albums. In the U.S. he’s played or recorded with a Who’s Who of jazz and rock music including Pat Metheny, The Allman Brothers, Mickey Hart, Taj Mahal, and many many others. It’s no wonder that Gil Evans said that ‘everything that Paul Lieberman plays sounds right’--and it does."
--The Fairness Doctrine


"The Music of Joy... On this date in 1824, an audience in Vienna, Austria, heard the premiere of Ludwig van Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony", the composer's final major work, the one that features the "Song of Joy" as its final section.  That stunning piece of music came to mind today as I played the new CD by multi-reed player and composer Paul Lieberman.  No, he does not rework the Beethoven masterpiece and his music is not really classical.  It is, however, filled from beginning to end with joy...

"Ibeji" (self-released) is the long-awaited debut recording from the Boston, Massachusetts-area resident. Blessed with 2 cracker-jack rhythm  sections (either bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Tim Horner or bassist Nilson Matta and drummer Duduka da Fonseca) and a program that ranges from sparkling originals to classic tunes from Brazil to jazz standards to one of the best covers of a Beatles tune by a jazz player, the recording shines.  The secret weapon is the brilliant work of co-producer and pianist Joel A. Martin, whose playing is so effervescent that it jumps out of the speakers as if to hug the listener. Even his work on the slow tunes sparkles.  Lieberman plays tenor, alto and soprano saxophones plus flute, alto flute, piccolo, percussion and adds several vocal flourishes.

One of the more fascinating aspects of the program is how Lieberman uses his American rhythm section to re-imagine the Brazilian tunes (Jobim's "Inutil Paisagem" as a shuffle! and Ivan Lins' ballad "Doce Presenca" with a strong blues feel and opening phrase hearkens back to "April in Paris") and the Brazilian rhythm section to give new life to classic pieces such as Al Dubin & Harry Warren's "Lulu's Back in Town" (bossa nova) and "I'll Remember April" as a sprightly samba. I have always loved Lennon & McCartney's "In My Life", a somewhat melancholy love song that looks back on "people and things that went before."  Lieberman takes the tune up several notches, overdubs several flutes then rises atop Matta's melodic bass lines, da Fonseca's sprightly rhythms, and Martin's intelligent piano fills to create a piece that celebrates life to its fullest.  On the leader's "Voa Livre" ("fly free"), cellist Eugene Friesen and drummer Jaimoe (he, an original and current member of the Allman Brothers Band)  make guest appearances, filling out the sound.  Lieberman plays the enchanting melody on several flutes while Friesen moves gracefully behind him.  The leader makes a sudden and subtle shift to saxophone while his wife adds a wordless vocal, harmonizing with the cello.  The effect is pleasing and oh-so-sweet, even as the saxophone and drums build the intensity.  The program closes with "Beatriz", a lovely ballad from the pens of Edu Lobo and Chico Buarque, played only by Martin and Lieberman (alto flute).  "Lovely" is a weak word for this stunning, heartfelt, and emotional work.

In truth, "Ibeji" is "soul" music through and through, in the way that John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme", JS Bach's "6 Suites for Cello", and, yes, "Song of Joy"  is "soul" music to my ears.  The music comes from a place that combines technique, intelligence, experience, emotions and risk-taking that pushes the musician beyond the ordinary or the commonplace. How one reacts to this joyful creation is a matter of personal taste but, for this listener, I am going to return to this recording over and over because I like just how fine this music makes me feel."

--Richard Kamins, "Step Tempest"


"Throughout, there was furious improvisation...And there were friends in the house aplenty. Along with the Tedeschi appearance, a gang-up on Willie Dixon’s “The Same Thing” featured crackling undercurrent from guest drummer Kenwood Dennard and percussionist Egvie Castillo, and a four-way pass-the-hat jam between Trucks, Haynes, Max Creek/Mike Gordon Band guitarist Scott Murawski and ace jazz saxophonist Paul Lieberman that picked up speed and excitement the longer it went on."

--The Patriot Ledger, Qunicy, MA


"...a rare touch of Brazilian jazz...a breath of fresh air...As a unit, Nos Daqui is terribly charismatic; Lieberman's commanding presence strikes a remarkable contrast with his tender flute playing."

--Hartford Advocate, Hartford, Connecticut

“Lieberman is an inspired tenorist, and whoever has heard him in the Carioca night knows what he is capable of, thanks to the supreme facility with which he resolves the most difficult phrases, while never losing the thread.”

--Jornal do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

“Lieberman is... without a doubt, the star of ‘Na Barra’, creating on the flute an ethereal mood of great melodic beauty...”

--Jornal do Brasil


“Lieberman... has a resume that would make most musicians’ mouths water.”

--Daily Hampshire Gazette, Northampton, Massachusetts


“While Lieberman may use the tenor sax to fit into the walking-bass groove of “Medium Rare,” his persuasive vocal-like sound approaching that of Stanley Turrentine, he allows the alto flute to express the understated undercurrent of joy arising from Harold Land’s ‘Rapture’.”

--Jazz Improv Magazine


“... ’Toni’, a ballad made to order for the lyricism of Lieberman’s [alto] sax... ”

--Folha de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil


“In ‘R.J.’ Lieberman controls a solo of rare continuity on the piccolo... ’Pure Silk’ has interventions by Lieberman of great lyricism... ”

--Jornal do Brasil

"Using the rarely heard piccolo to great effect, Paul Lieberman prances through this rhythmic-centered tune. ... The music builds to a beautifully rhapsodic pinnacle of tension as Lieberman's pointillistic piccolo meshes precisely with Sullivan's wistful piano. They provide a complementary call and response that codifies into a swirling, almost classical break before returning to the original melody line, commandingly followed by a crescendo-building finale to break the spell."

"With a freewheeling sense of joy elicited by Paul Lieberman's delightful flute work..."

--www.jazz.com

 

as educator TOP OF PAGE

“Paul Lieberman’s clinic proved to be a highlight of the 2012 Syracuse Jazz Fest Education Program. Drawing on his experience in music education, Paul was able to get right down to the level of the students in the audience and deliver meaningful, relevant, and eminently useable information designed to improve their understanding and performance of America’s music; jazz. For over an hour, he held the students in rapt attention as he both challenged and motivated them on their journey toward becoming better musicians. It was a thrill for me to see the student’s reactions: many told me afterward that they were truly inspired and “charged up” by Paul’s presentation. My only regret is that we only had an hour to give him!.""

--Steve Frank, Syracuse Jazz Fest Education Program Director

 

“I was privileged to work with Paul Lieberman on planning and implementing a professional development day for thirty K-12 educators on Brazilian culture, music and dance and its African and European roots. Paul played a vital role in designing the program and inviting other musicians. He masterfully introduced Brazilian history, musical forms and multiple traditions in a well-organized professional manner. What impressed the participants the most was that this person who had just provided a scholarly presentation, also was an incredible musician who interacted with two Brazilian musicians in their native Portuguese and with the teachers to bring alive so many styles of music and to demonstrate unfamiliar instruments. I can honestly recommend Paul regardless of whether you are seeking a musical performance, a lecture or both. Paul also created an online site so they will be able to easily take their new knowledge back to their schools. Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, Creative"

--Peter Gilmartin, Program Director at Primary Source,Watertown, MA

"Paul spent a full day working with a group of instrumental teachers from our area on improvisation. There were teachers there that are experienced jazz musicians and others who are much less confident. I had experienced and non-experienced jazz musicians say that they wish they could have had a whole week with Paul. The day was well organized, and Paul also welcomed questions and discussion throughout which really gave everyone a chance to reflect and discuss their own struggles and experiences. The whole group greatly appreciated his demeanor and experience. We also loved having him demonstrate the many topics that we discussed on his instrument. The ability to attempt playing on our own instruments also made the session hands on. I hope that we can have Paul come back in the future and highly recommend him as a clinician."

--Jamie LaBarge, President, St. Lawrence County Music Educators Association

 

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