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Lee Konitz: The Real Lee Konitz

Album Reviews:

JazzTimes (3/00, pp.80-1) - "...how can anyone who likes modern jazz resist THE REAL LEE KONITZ?....This is an outstanding record, even by late '50s standards. Konitz is 'cerebral' in that he thinks fast and builds his solos brilliantly....consistently fine group interaction..."

Album Notes

Personnel: Lee Konitz (alto saxophone); Don Ferrara (trumpet); Billy Bauer (guitar); Peter Ind (bass); Dick Scott (drums).

Recorded live at the Midway Lounge, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 15, 1957. Originally released on Atlantic (1273). Includes liner notes by Lee Konitz.

Saxophonist Lee Konitz has been consistently one of the most individual figures in jazz, and has excelled as both as leader and accompanist since the late '40s. He's fashioned a unique style, influenced heavily by pianist Lennie Tristano, and sufficiently so by alto legend Charlie Parker. While many jazz players find a niche and work it for the rest of their lives, Konitz has refused to stand still. He's played with a dizzying assortment of musicians, including Miles Davis, Stan Kenton, Charles Mingus, Max Roach, and Derek Bailey.

This album was recorded live in a jazz club in Pittsburgh, P.A. in 1957, with players that share fine history with Konitz, like the superb "cool school" guitarist Billy Bauer. Konitz swings with blues-derived aplomb on "My Melancholy Baby." Peter Ind's bass playing is sturdy and sinuous, and the whole band sets up a swinging groove for Konitz to work out on. Some jazz critics have accused Konitz of being "too cerebral"--listen to the driving closer, "Midway," and wonder how anyone could say that. The recording quality throughout is very good--one can hear the clinking of glasses and bottles now and again, but that just adds to the good-time ambiance.



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