Personnel: Francois Theberge (tenor saxophone); Lee Konitz (alto saxophone); Stephane Belmondo (trumpet, flugelhorn); Jerry Edwards (trombone); Paul Imm (acoustic bass); Karl Jannuska (drums).
Audio Mixer: Emmanuel Payet.
Liner Note Author: Claude Carrière.
Recording information: Acousti Studio, Paris, France (10/03/2002).
Photographer: Alain Bédard.
Arranger: Francois Theberge.
Tenor saxophonist Francois Theberge not only chose to record an entire CD devoted to the compositions of alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, but welcomed him as a special guest for the entire session. The veteran's songs are always stimulating and full of twists and turns as he frequently transforms the chord changes of familiar standards into something revolutionary sounding. The sextet, which also features trumpeter and flugelhornist Stephane Belmondo and trumpeter Jerry Edwards, does justice to Theberge's skillful arrangements. They include a bright and cheery "Dream Steppin'" (adapted from "You Stepped Out of a Dream"), a somewhat ominous "Thingin'" (a reworked "All the Things You Are"), and one of his best known works, "Subconscious-Lee" (based on "What is This Thing Called Love?"). The pianoless sextet devotes itself to playing as a group as much as featuring individual soloists, though Konitz does get his fair share. This rewarding disc should attract many fans of Lee Konitz to the promising work of Francois Theberge. ~ Ken Dryden