Album Remarks & Appraisals:
This re-release of the 1999 recording "Live At Birdland" has been remastered for optimal sound quality and includes a bonus track not previously included on the album. Lee Konitz was born in 1927 in Chicago. When he was 11 years old, he received his first instrument, a clarinet, but later dropped the instrument in favor of the tenor saxophone. He eventually moved from tenor to alto. His greatest influences at the time were the Swing big bands he and his brother listened to on the radio, in particular Benny Goodman. He started his professional career in 1945, and played with all the greats, from Miles Davis to Joe Henderson. Kenny Wheeler was born in 1930 in St. Catharines, Ontario. He studied trumpet in Toronto and moved to London in 1952. Versatile artist as he was, he played free improv in the "Globe Unity Orchestra" of Alexander von Schlippenbach as well as jazz-rock in the "United Jazz & Rock Ensemble." He passed away on September 18, 2014. Light shines on this rerelease, on the glistening vibrato of the alto saxophone, the lyrical melancholy of the flugelhorn, the spinning web-like weaving of the piano as well as the clever architecture of the bass. Everything joins into a shimmer mesh of interaction and strategy of technical brilliance and solo sophistication.