All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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
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.

Title: Enfants Terribles: Live at the Blue Note | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Half Note Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Elvesang CD/LP/Track Review
Elvesang
by John Kelman
Published: February 17, 2018
Read Necessary Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Necessary Arrangements
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 17, 2018
Read Uniting Beats (Ritmos Que Unen) CD/LP/Track Review
Uniting Beats (Ritmos Que Unen)
by Barry Witherden
Published: February 17, 2018
Read Influences CD/LP/Track Review
Influences
by Don Phipps
Published: February 17, 2018
Read async Remodels CD/LP/Track Review
async Remodels
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 17, 2018
Read Way Out West CD/LP/Track Review
Way Out West
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: February 16, 2018
Read "Dedication" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "Do For You?" CD/LP/Track Review Do For You?
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 5, 2017
Read "April" CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "Kinship" CD/LP/Track Review Kinship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 8, 2017
Read "Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath II" CD/LP/Track Review Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath II
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "Six Easy Pieces" CD/LP/Track Review Six Easy Pieces
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 5, 2017