Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

5

Jeff Denson Trio: Jeff Denson Trio + Lee Konitz

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Part of the beauty and challenge in following the late career recordings of saxophone icon Lee Konitz can be traced to the way he continues to grow and evolve, inspired by the many and varied musicians he works with and, in turn, inspiring them. Anybody who's heard him wildly deconstruct a standard with pianist Dan Tepfer, paint ethereal fever dreams with guitarist Bill Frisell, or bound along with saxophonist Grace Kelly can attest to that fact. Konitz is always himself, with that inimitable matte-finished sound peaking around corners or pushing boundaries, but he's never predictable, as each encounter serves as an opportunity to branch out into different territories. Case in point is this recording: an eleven song venture that finds Konitz putting his horn to good use, scat singing, performing rarities from pianist Lennie Tristano's book, and locking in with bassist Jeff Denson's Trio.

Denson has worked extensively with Konitz in recent times, touring with the saxophonist as part of The Lee Konitz New Quartet and appearing on three albums with that group—Deep Lee (Enja, 2008), Live At The Village Vanguard (Enja, 2010), and Standards Live: At The Village Vanguard (Enja, 2014). But here, the shoe is on the other foot. Konitz is the guest in Denson's world, but it's a world that the bassist has shaped around Konitz's past. The saxophonist's well-known "Subconscious Lee" appears twice, Warne Marsh's "Background Music" gives Konitz and Denson a chance to glide along together and solo in gleeful fashion, and Denson honors the relationship between Konitz and Tristano by pulling out numbers like the pianist's "Baby" and "East Thirty-Second," semi-obscurities with snaking bop-based lines.

Élan is tempered by looseness of swing and comfortable tempos throughout this affair. Pianist Dan Zemelman and drummer Jon Arkin prove to be sensitive and supportive in their work, Denson delivers the goods, whether singing a classic or sidling along with his bass, and Konitz plays it cool and straight in his delivery. Or at least as straight as Lee Konitz can play it. Nothing is forced and there's a beautifully casual quality to the music. These performances may seem a bit conservative when measured against some of the saxophonist's other recordings in recent times, but they're no less enjoyable. This is an eminently listenable date.

Track Listing: Baby; Duet; Blue Skies; East Thirty-Second; Subconscious Lee; Body And Soul; Background Music; Kary's Trance; Skylark; 317 East 32nd Street; Subconscious Lee.

Personnel: Jeff Denson: bass, vocals; Lee Konitz: alto saxophone, vocals; Dan Zemelman: piano; Jon Arkin: drums.

Title: Jeff Denson Trio + Lee Konitz | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Ridgeway Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

For a Brand New Day

For a Brand New Day

Jeff Denson
Outside My Window

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Outside My Window

Outside My Window

Ridgeway Records
2018

buy
Concentric Circles

Concentric Circles

Ridgeway Records
2017

buy
Concentric Circles

Concentric Circles

Ridgeway Records
2016

buy
Jeff Denson + Lee Konitz

Jeff Denson + Lee...

Self Produced
2015

buy
Jeff Denson Trio + Lee Konitz

Jeff Denson Trio +...

Ridgeway Records
2015

buy
Secret World

Secret World

Thrill Jockey
2012

buy
Date Detail Price
Dec22Sat
18:30
Bennett Friedman Quartet
Hotel Healdsburg Jazz In The Lobby
Healdsburg, CA

Related Articles

Read Drum Solos For Dancers Only CD/LP/Track Review
Drum Solos For Dancers Only
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 18, 2018
Read Kikoeru - Tribute to Masaya Kimura CD/LP/Track Review
Kikoeru - Tribute to Masaya Kimura
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 18, 2018
Read His Flight's At Ten CD/LP/Track Review
His Flight's At Ten
by John Sharpe
Published: December 18, 2018
Read First Lines CD/LP/Track Review
First Lines
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 18, 2018
Read Live At Cafe Amores CD/LP/Track Review
Live At Cafe Amores
by John Sharpe
Published: December 18, 2018
Read The Tale CD/LP/Track Review
The Tale
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 17, 2018
Read "6 Mulleres" CD/LP/Track Review 6 Mulleres
by Don Phipps
Published: September 1, 2018
Read "Pillars" CD/LP/Track Review Pillars
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 10, 2018
Read "Viata" CD/LP/Track Review Viata
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 5, 2018
Read "1538" CD/LP/Track Review 1538
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 9, 2018
Read "Groovin' With Big G" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin' With Big G
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 4, 2018
Read "Untitled Album" CD/LP/Track Review Untitled Album
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 3, 2018