Generations Quartet Featuring Dave Liebman
Dave Liebman – Saxophones
Billy Test – Piano
Evan Gregor – Bass
Ian Froman – Drums
The Generations Quartet captures master saxophonist Dave Liebman in a piano quartet setting, playing jazz and standard repertoire in a swinging, adventurous style reminiscent of the classic groups of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Liebman’s highly personal aesthetic blends perfectly with a close-knit rhythm section that keeps a supportive groove while being flexible enough to take the music to unique and exciting places each time.
On a personal level, the band has a long history with layers of teacher, mentor, student, band-member and collaborator relationships, creating a chemistry that can be felt on stage and in the music. The members of the quartet represent 3 different generations.
The group performs multiple times each year at the Deerhead Inn in Delaware Water Gap, PA which plays a central role in their histories personally and collectively.
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Story of the Band
The origin of the Generations Quartet represents the best elements of Jazz’s “passing the torch” tradition of learning from masters directly. There are multiple layers of student / teacher, mentor, and colleague relationships in this group.
Dave Liebman is of course the elder statesman of the quartet, a master jazz musician who notably played in the bands of Miles Davis and John Coltrane’s legendary drummer Elvin Jones in his apprenticeship years during the early 1970s.
Drummer Ian Froman was a direct student of Elvin and has a thirty year working relationship with Liebman whom he considers an important figure in his development.
Bassist Evan Gregor first met Liebman in high school, who would eventually become a mentor figure in introducing him to the music. One of the early live performances Evan saw was with Ian and Dave together. He went on to study at Berklee (as an electric bassist) where Froman was one of his most important teachers.
In 2007, Liebman hired Ian, Evan and pianist Phil Markowitz for a quartet gig playing standards and preparing new music for one of Lieb’s seminal groups, the Saxophone Summit. A new combination of young and old commenced.
Meanwhile, at this time pianist Billy Test was about to begin studying for a Master’s degree with Liebman and Markowitz at the Manhattan School of Music.
The first note of music Billy and Evan ever played together was a gig led by Liebman at the Side Door in Connecticut in 2015. Billy, Evan, and Ian also begin working together in different configurations….new connections across generations became a reality.
Despite these close connections and appearing with each other in various settings, the quartet had never all shared the stage together before collectively organizing a date at the Deer Head Inn. The immediate energy and chemistry of the band sparked recording both live and in the studio shortly thereafter.