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Orchestra BargaJazz/Lee Konitz: BargaLee

Album Notes

Lee Konitz made several guest appearances withthe Orchestra BargaJazz, conducted by Bruno Tommaso, over three consecutive evenings during a visit to Italy during the summer of 2003. Five different Italian arrangers contributed charts for this modern big band, performing a mix of Konitz's compositions and standards. Konitz is in top form throughout each concert, revisiting works such as "Kary's Trance" (premiered in 1956 and based upon "Play, Fiddle, Play"), the lush "Rebecca" (debuted in 1950), "Thingin'" (based upon "All the Things You Are"). The standards sound equally fresh, due not only to Konitz's unique approach to the alto sax, but the imaginative scoring by the arrangers. The leader's dry, haunting tone adds to the bittersweet mood of Cole Porter's "Ev'rytime We Say Goodbye." "Stella by Starlight" switches back and forth between post-bop and cool settings. The closer is a swinging quartet performance of "Cherokee," with Konitz's wild solo suggesting yet another new composition in the works. ~ Ken Dryden


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