In this "Interpreting Melodies" master class, legendary saxophonist Dave Liebman breaks down several ways to personalize melodies, especially in the case of standard tunes. Dave discusses common techniques used by artists so that one’s performance can be memorable from the first note which most of the time has to do with the written melody of a given song. If you want to bring your melodic approach to life, this lesson is for you. NOTE: There is a PDF bundled with the "purchase" version of this video (not the $8.99 "rental" version) which includes the charts embedded in the video and the transcription of Dave's improvised melody over "My Funny Valentine."
Topics Covered: Principles of theme and variation; discussion of the five elements of music; use of elision and embellishment; clear beginnings and endings; arpeggiation as a melodic tool; rhythmic approaches; improvising an original melody; Miles Davis and John Coltrane’s approaches; expressive devices; melodic shapes; creating an individual voice; using and reinforcing the natural characteristics of one’s instrument.
NEA Jazz Master David Liebman’s career has spanned nearly five decades, beginning in the early 1970s as the saxophone/flutist in both the Elvin Jones and Miles Davis Groups, continuing as a bandleader since. He has played on over five hundred recordings with nearly two hundred under his leadership or co-leadership. In the jazz education field he is a renowned lecturer and author of several milestone books: “Self Portrait Of A Jazz Artist,” “A Chromatic Approach To Jazz Harmony And Melody,” “Developing A Personal Saxophone Sound,” (translated into multiple languages), in addition to teaching DVDs, journalistic contributions to periodicals and published chamber music.
His autobiography “What It Is” (Scarecrow Press) is a fascinating look into Lieb’s career.
Lieb is the Founder and Artistic Director of the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ) since 1989, which is a worldwide network of schools from nearly 40 countries. Liebman’s awards, besides the NEA honor, include the Jazz Educators Network (JEN) Legends of Jazz (2013); the Order of Arts and Letters (France 2009); Jazz Journalist’s award for Soprano Saxophone (2007); Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Solo (1998); Honorary Doctorate from the Sibelius Academy (Finland-1997). He is currently Artist in Residence at the Manhattan School of Music and guest lecturer at both the University of Toronto and Berklee College of Music. Dave has consistently placed in the top positions for Soprano Saxophone in both the Downbeat and Jazz Times polls since 1973.