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Lee Konitz: Another Shade Of Blue

Jim Santella By

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Another Shade Of Blue is the second release garnered from this trio’s Los Angeles performance recorded in concert by Blue Note at The Jazz Bakery. Unlike Alone Together, this one presents their mellower side, featuring a slow walking blues, several ballads, and one cool improvised standard. A little melodic change here, an inverted phrase there, alter the harmony but retain most of the chord structure, and what you’ve got is a cool bop "All Of Me" that’s as much fun as the original. Nothing’s automatic, though. The modern jazz fan studies this kind of situation repeatedly to understand it. While profound, this kind of piece still leaves plenty of room for the listener to dream on, enjoy the swinging lyricism, and simply "dig it" from start to finish.

Lee Konitz shares each warm melody with his audience while finding that Brad Mehldau and Charlie Haden appreciate the very same kind of approach in their work. The saxophonist shuns tradition as he starts "Body And Soul" in the middle of the tune. And yet, nothing about his program would indicate that standards and straightforward melodies aren’t at the core of Konitz’ work. The session remains accessible while allowing plenty of room for individual interpretations. Mehldau rips up the keyboard, never hesitating and full of confidence. Haden, particularly on "Another Shade of Blue," unveils his penchant for sharing a simple melody. As with Alone Together, this recommended album was recorded during their weeklong engagement at The Jazz Bakery, December 17-21, 1996. The room’s excellent acoustics provide a superb snapshot of the trio’s slow melodic mellower side.


Title: Another Shade Of Blue | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Blue Note


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