By Alexa Peters | Published February 2021
“There are four qualities essential to a great jazzman: taste, courage, individuality and irreverence,” Stan Getz reportedly once said. Dancing On The Edge hits on all four of those requirements as saxophonists Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman lead an ensemble through a live date captured in 2013 at Pennsylvania’s Deer Head Inn.
For the performance, each member of The Kaleidoscope Quintet brings fluency in the jazz tradition, as well as a taste for abandon. On “Get Me Back To The Apple,” Liebman strikes a balance between bebop and the fearlessness of the avant-garde, while on “Topsy Turvy,” Judi Silvano’s expressive vocalizations add levity and highlight her scat vocabulary. That latter tune also showcases Lovano and Silvano’s simpatico, particularly when they trade fours with Liebman. Most emblematic of the in-sync imagination displayed across Dancing On The Edge is the ensemble’s striking rendition of “There Is No Greater Love.” The melody is familiar, and then, like the kaleidoscope the band’s named for, the quintet obscures it with a twist of colorful reinvention. It’s a nuanced move that seemingly separates great jazz players from the pack.
Dancing On The Edge: Topsy Turvy; Day And Night; Blackwell’s Message; There Is No Greater Love; Get Me Back To The Apple. (62:04)
Personnel: Joe Lovano, tenor saxophone, flute; Dave Liebman, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Judi Silvano, vocals; Tony Marino, bass; Michael Stephans, drums.