— 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

“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.”

— Jon Garelick – The Boston Phoenix


“…fluent and profound”

— Eugene Friesen, four-time Grammy winning cellist

“Concerning your CD, Ibeji – I’ve listened to it multiple times and find it to be wonderful music and music-making. I’m impressed with your talent as a performer, composer and arranger – Bravo!!!”

— Frank Battisti

“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