Paul Lieberman / Press


"...filled from beginning to end with joy... Blessed with...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... ‘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, [Beethoven’s] "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."

"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.”

“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.”

“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.”

"...fluent and profound..."

Eugene Friesen, four-time Grammy Award winning cellist - Post-concert email

“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 CD is a beguiling mix of originals with American and Brazilian standards... [The] concept guaranteed variety and surprise, but what you're most likely to pick up on from the first few bars is buoyancy — a beat that floats on every track and pervasive ensemble joie de vivre... He gives his flute — the airiest of instruments, after all — real body. And his articulation makes an easy ride of the tricky rhythmic and harmonic turns. His piccolo work is perhaps even more arresting. On..."Lulu's Back in Town" he gives the instrument a warm, woody timbre even as he clearly limns every grace note and trill at high speed... Lieberman discovered his own Brazilian accent early on...The source of his accent is still a mystery, but he clearly never lost it.”

“[From 'Three Outstanding CDs Released In The Past Year']: On Ibeji, saxophonist/flutist (and amazing piccolo player) Paul Lieberman draws on years of experience playing Brazilian music with an imaginative mix of Brazilian stylings of jazz standards and straight-up jazz versions of Brazilian standards, augmented by several fine, original compositions. Highlights include a whirlwind samba version of “I’ll Remember April,” his own anthemic “Voa livre,” and a transformation of Ivan Lins’s “Doce presença” into a slow dance classic to rival “At Last” and “Ooh, Baby, Baby.””

““Paul is a world-class professional musician. As a performer, Paul’s reputation had preceded him, prior to meeting him on a recording project with a mutual acquaintance. We have since recorded his project resulting in the critically acclaimed commercial CD "Ibeji." During the days of recording, Paul exhibited virtuoso technique on the flute and tenor saxophone, while being a very delightfully humble individual. His ability to communicate with all of the musicians with ease was impressive. In the real market place, Paul is exemplary being able to function as a jazz performer, a recording artist in various genres. To be a successful jazz player requires passion, creativeness, emotion, intellect, functional knowledge, perseverance, and patience, as exemplified by the Master practitioners. Paul possesses all the attributes… When you combine all his abilities, he would be that individual that any institution would surely want and certainly should need.””

Rufus Reid, Jazz Bassist, Composer, Professor Emeritus, William Paterson Univ. - Reference Letter

“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

“It was my greatest pleasure to invite Paul to play as our guest artist with the Northeastern Concert Band in April 2014...His musicianship continues to amaze me every time I have the opportunity to hear him play. His saxophone playing is soulful, evocative, and immediately transports the listener to a different place. My favorite thing to do when Paul is playing is to find the people in the room that are hearing him for the first time, especially when he picks up the Piccolo. You haven’t heard the piccolo played until you’ve heard Paul play it! My students were in awe of his musical ability, and were so thankful for the opportunity to share the stage with him. The audience was unanimous in their praise, saying it was the best concert they’d been to, and that Paul was the best guest we’ve yet brought in. An extremely kind and giving educator, I enthusiastically recommend Paul Lieberman to perform with your ensemble in any situation where musicianship and inspiration are va”

John Leonard, Assistant Dir. of Bands, Northeastern University - Reference Letter

“We wish to thank you for the invitation to attend the performance of VOYAGES ON THE BLACK ATLANTIC on January 13, at Science Park High School. As representatives of NJPAC's Arts Education department, we were very excited to see such a high-quality performance given for the students in Newark. Not only was it exciting to see students from Arts High School and American History High School perform alongside your group of world-class musicians [Jaimoe's Jasssz Band PLUS], it was amazing to see how engaged and excited the students in the audience were! It was a very successful performance given to an energy-filled auditorium! The generosity of your time and sharing your gift of music is greatly appreciated. I'm sure the students came away from the performance feeling quite inspired. Many thanks and congratulations. Warmly, Becky.”

Rebecca Hinkle - Director, Arts Education, NJ Performing Arts Center

“I live in Maplewood, NJ, a couple of miles from the Newark border. My town is progressive, thoughtful, cultured – and has minimal interaction with the large city down the street. It is a conundrum I have puzzled over for years, wondering how to bridge these two worlds. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard that one of my musical idols – Jaimoe, founding member of the Allman Brothers Band would be appearing at a Newark high school. I was bowled over by what I discovered there. Paul Lieberman was running an extended presentation about the history of African American music for the assembled students – and the packed auditorium was listening with rapt attention. As the program unfolded, I was struck by how Paul and the entire program retained the students' interest. The whole project seemed the perfect blend of fun and education. I am certain that a good portion of the audience was deeply impacted. The Voyages program has tremendous potential to educate, inspire, and bridge d”

Alan Paul, Managing Editor, Guitar World - Reference Letter

“I have produced the ‘4 Sundays in February’ series at the historic Academy of Music Theater for the past 22 years. A goal of mine was to produce an event focused on the music of New Orleans with the feel of Mardi Gras. After experiencing Paul Lieberman's Ibeji we envisioned the event as a twin celebration of Mardi Gras and Rio's Carnival. Paul was perfectly positioned and skilled to make this happen in a deep, explorative way and pulled together a stunning array of musicians to create an amazing conceptual performance. 24" of snow didn't stop the show from being a sold-out must-see event. The follow-up school show was even more impressive. Paul was able to educate and entertain. A student said the assembly was like none other she had been to. She listened to a complex and thoughtful analysis of race and culture that went far beyond anything she had ever learned in class. Paul is onto something special with this project which will become a model of how to use culture to educate.”

Bob Cilman - Executive Director of the Northampton Arts Council's statement

“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”

“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 - Reference after all-day clinic at Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam

““So many of us were talking excitedly about what we’d learned from you...we were invigorated by your ideas for working with students, your historical perspective, and your playing!””

Theresa Witmer, participant - Feedback on clinic for St. Lawrence County Music Educators Association

“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 Eguie 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 musicianship, throughout, was at an undeniably high level. There was a cast of 16 at this show, and they played together in countless different combinations; no one showed even a moment’s difficulty locking into a groove or quickly responding to what somebody else was doing." [Describing the tribute "For The Love Of Moody" with George Benson, David Sanborn, Kenny Barron, The Manhattan Transfer, Paquito D'Rivera, Jimmy Heath, Jon Faddis, Adam Nussbaum, Renee Rosnes, Todd Coolman, and Paul Lieberman]

"...a rare touch of Brazilian jazz...a breath of fresh air...Lieberman's commanding presence strikes a remarkable contrast with his tender flute playing."

Hartford Advocate

“Ali Ryerson’s new CD...could do for the jazz flute what John Coltrane’s 1961 recording of My Favorite Things did for the soprano saxophone – elevate the instrument to a whole new level of acceptance and recognition. This recording is both excellent and exceptional on many levels. Ali assembled an incredible front line of flutists, all of whom checked their egos at the door. The rhythm section (Mark Levine, piano; Rufus Reid, bass; Akira Tana, drums) fits the soloists like a glove. The arrangements of jazz standards such as “Daahoud,” “Ana Maria,” “Stolen Moments,” and “Con Alma” are reworked with grace and inspiration by Mark Levine, Mike Wofford, Bill Cunliffe, and other pros, with a sensitivity to enhancing the presence of all star soloists such as Hubert Laws, Nestor Torres, Marc Adler, and Paul Lieberman.”

“...When it comes to the Ali Ryerson Jazz Flute Big Band debut CD Game Changer, “breathtaking” is literally and figuratively the only way to describe it, both in terms of its conception and execution. Simply put, it is a magnificent recording from beginning to end, the result of a 10 year project [love affair?] spearheaded by Ali to create a big band made up entirely of flutes. A host of guest artists assume the solo spotlight and lend an element of individuality to the arrangements including: Paul Lieberman...Hubert Laws, Jaime Baum, Nestor Torres, Holly Hoffman, Andrea Brachfield...and, of course, Ali Ryerson.”

“...Jaimoe has a number of weapons at his disposal in the Jasssz Band (including bassist Dave Stoltz, keyboardist Bruce Katz and the brilliant horn section of Paul Lieberman, Kris Jensen and Reggie Pittman)...”

“The last year saw a flood of solo releases by members of the Allman Brothers band. The first three, by Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks’ Tedeschi Trucks Band, were all nominated for the Best Blues Album Grammy Award. But the fourth and final release may be the best of all: “Renaissance Man” by founding Allman Brothers drummer Jaimoe and his Jasssz Band.”

“This offering by Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band [is] led by drummer extraordinaire Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson, a founding member of the Allman Bros. Band, who, along with Butch Trucks, created the iconic group’s criss-cross polyrhythms. The septet crafts a swinging, skillfully executed body of jams embracing blues-rock, soul, jazz, pop-jazz and ballads. Take the opener “Dilemma.” It’s a grabber that sounds informed by the Allmans’ “Whipping Post” but later drifts into an after-hours jazz session showcasing the ensemble’s three superb horn players... Jaimoe and his mates do it all and do it well.”

"What a difference a year makes...Welcome to the Gregg Allman Band 2012. In some ways, they seem like a brand-new-spanking band, having all the charisma of a new toy on Christmas morning; all shiny and new and raring to go... Whatever it was that caused such an inspirational kick in the butt needs to be bottled. Maybe it was the horn section from Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band playing alongside sax player Jay Collins that created such a vibrancy and spring to the songs..."

“'Renaissance Man' is a diverse, eclectic and thoroughly listenable album. Jaimoe is the band’s founder and heart, and the group features a septet of swinging, in-the-pocket players, including a great three-man horn section.”

“[From '10 Boston Jazz Acts That Blew Through The Roof In 2011']: On his self-released Ibeji, saxophonist-flutist Lieberman's idea was to get 'an American rhythm section to play Brazilian compositions in a jazz style, and a Brazilian rhythm section to play American compositions in an American style.' It works. The former first-call Rio de Janeiro session man has been a boon to the rich Boston Brazilian music community. ”

“Second time in a row listening to Paul Lieberman's CD. Absolutely Stunning! Paul I love this CD. Your sound on both Tenor and Flute is perfect, sidemen are smoking and tune selection is again perfect. This will be in my top rotation for a long time.”

“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

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


"Wow! You have a beautiful vibrant recording. BRAVO to you and Joel!...I am glad I could be a part of it."

“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

“Using the rarely heard piccolo to great effect, Paul Lieberman prances through this rhythmic-centered tune.”