Lee Konitz-Ohad Talmor Big Band: Portology (2007)
Konitz, though he came up in the Charlie Parker era, never even flirted with Parker's style. He has been, throughout his career, an idiosyncratic improviser/player who works a sort of loopy anti-bop phraseology that seems closer to Eric Dolphy's soundin a more restrained, gentle, and perhaps beatific fashion.
The three discs with TalmorInventions (Omnitone, 2006 ), New Nonet (Omnitone, 2006), and now Portolgysuggest a Gil Evan/Miles Davis relationship between the two musicians; and indeed, Talmor's arrangements for Portugal's Orchestra Jazz de Matosinhos have an airythough slightly skewedEvans-esque feel to them, with lots of space for Konitz to blow his warm, woody alto tone around the Orquestra's soft pastels.
The set opens with a Konitz classic, "Sound Lee." It's an inspired take on the tune, with Konitz and the band sparring, pulling the punches before Andre Fernandes offers up a guitar solo that smolders into another Konitz blow-fest full of twists and loops and turns.
All of the compositions hereexcept "Sound Lee"are collaborative efforts from Konitz and Talmor: the bright, Third Stream-ish "June '05," the dark-tinted "New Ballad," the jagged "Ornetty," the pensive and melancholy "September 11th" and the swaying, swinging, five-part "Rhythm Sweet."
Portology finds Lee Konitzin collaboration with Ohad Talmor and the Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhosat the top of his individualistic musical game, blowing free on a marvelous set.
Track Listing: Sound Lee; June '05; A New Ballad; Medley: Ornetty; September 11; Ornetty (part 2). Rhythm Sweet: 'Dante; To Be or Not To; Fragmente; Tempo di Lee; Moderato. Relative Major.
Personnel: Lee Konitz: alto saxophone; Ohad Talmor: conductor, arranger, musical director; Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos: Jose Luis Rego: reeds; Joao Guimaraes: reeds; Joao Pedro Brandao: reeds; Mario Santos: reeds; Ze Pedro Coelho: reeds; Rui Teixeira: reeds; Erick Poirier: trumpet, flugelhorn; Rogerio Ribeiro: trumpet, flugelhorn; Susana Silva: trumpet, flugelhorn; Jose Silva: trumpet, flugelhorn; Michael Jousseein: trombones; Alvo Pinto: trombones; Daniel Dias: trombones; Goncalo Dias: trombones; Andre Fernandes: guitar; Carlos Azevedo: piano; Pedro Guedes: piano; Demian Cabaud: bass; Mario Barreiros: drums.
Record Label: OmniTone
Style: Big Band