4

Lee Konitz / Bill Frisell / Gary Peacock / Joey Baron: Enfants Terribles: Live at the Blue Note

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Lee Konitz / Bill Frisell / Gary Peacock / Joey Baron: Enfants Terribles: Live at the Blue Note Super groups are, by their very nature, either bright shining stars or catastrophic exploding supernovae. Dream team basketball lineups get beat by upstarts, and the new Stallone/Schwarzenegger/Van Damme movie is sure to be a nonstarter. The reasons for the flops are usually chemistry and vision, both essential requirements.

Same can be said for jazz groups. Listen to a longstanding unit work and its affinity is obvious. Assemble a quartet for a night, or fortnight and evidence of its chemistry (or lack of it) is apparent straightaway.

Such rapport is instantly recognizable from this live 2011 date at New York's Blue Note jazz club by the magnificent quartet of alto saxophonist Lee Konitz., guitarist Bill Frisell, bassist Gary Peacock, and drummer Joey Baron. Performing without prior practice or even a songbook, each track is begun by a different player; a jazz standard is the conversation topic, and the exploration begins. Acrobatics and grandstanding are eschewed here, in favor of a quiet conversational slow-to-medium tempo.

Add these four players to the very small list of groups that can play at such a high level without constant touring. Peacock's trio with Keith Jarrett and Jack DeJohnette comes to mind, and the late Paul Motian's band with Frisell and Joe Lovano are examples of players with an instant rapport.

Baron, Konitz's drummer of choice these days, opens "I Remember You," hinting at the melody before Frisell enters to state it, then others join in for the all-too-familiar song. Konitz's tone, born from Warne Marsh and Charlie Parker, has matured and mellowed into a treasure. At 84, his presence looms large here, but then there is the unmistakable sound of Frisell, ever faithful to not only the standards, but his unique mannerisms. Baron and Peacock present themselves as more than timekeepers; ever expressive, both can carry the day. Baron's drums absolutely sing "Body And Soul," and Peacock provides a mini-clinic with "I Can't Get Started."

Konitz and company spare the fireworks here, but provide a masterpiece of a record.


Track Listing: What Is This Thing Called Love?; Body & Soul; Stella By Starlight; I'll Remember April; I Remember You; I Can't Get Started.

Personnel: Lee Konitz: alto saxophone; Bill Frisell: guitar; Gary Peacock: bass; Joey Baron: drums.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Half Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Néo" CD/LP/Track Review Néo
by James Nadal
Published: April 13, 2016
Read "Dark Territory" CD/LP/Track Review Dark Territory
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 15, 2016
Read "Blood" CD/LP/Track Review Blood
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 14, 2016
Read "Central Line" CD/LP/Track Review Central Line
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Just Get In" CD/LP/Track Review Just Get In
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2016
Read "Traces" CD/LP/Track Review Traces
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!