Lee Konitz - Ohad Talmor String Project: Inventions (2006)
Celebrated alto saxophonist Lee Konitz works with multi-reedman Ohad Talmor and a string section, but not a conventional rhythm section, on this studio set. Inventions is not particularly groundbreaking within the realm of classical-jazz music, yet it's alluring and musically stimulating nonetheless, featuring mid-tempo, string-based bop movements and fluid soloing atop unison choruses or skewed frameworks. Tuneful themes and abstracts coexist nicely.
Konitz's large phraseology looms as the primary voice, while Talmor wears many hats, given his polytonal and multi-register reed voicings. Gentle passages are interspersed with the string quartet's variable modulations and staccato flurries. On "Moon, the strings inject a slice of Americana that coyly evolves into an avant-garde chamber motif. With "Chunks, Konitz's ethereal lines ride atop a walking, strutting groove. In other areas, the musicians engage in bump and grind movements and sprightly trad-jazz vamps.
Pleasing to the ears, heart and mind, Inventions should enjoy widespread appeal on various modern-jazz related fronts. And of course this outing presents yet another view of Konitz' multi-phased career, where rigid dictums or guiding principles aren't always a means to the end.
Track Listing: Qu'est-ce que C'est?; Pretty Peace; Moon; Lied im Herzen; General Cluster; Chunks; FeeBeMe; Alone in Cologne; Struttin with Some Barbeque.
Personnel: Lee Konitz: alto saxophone; Ohad Talmor: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, clarinet, arranger; Spring String Quartet: Christian Wirth, Marcus Wall: violin; Julian Gillesberger: viola; Stephan Punderlitschek: cello.