Joined by the Axis String Quartet, alto sax veteran Lee Konitz puts a very unique spin on pieces from French Impressionist repertoire. Claude Debussy is the album’s most prevalent composer, represented by "Rêverie," "Soupir," and "Valse Romantique." Erik Satie is a close second with "Sur Un Lanterne" and "Seul à La Maison." There are also pieces by Ravel and three somewhat less familiar figures: Fauré, Chausson, and Koechlin.
Israeli composer Ohad Talmor arranged the works, taking certain compositional liberties in the process. The music is, of course, fairly removed from jazz, but Konitz is given room to improvise. In the liner notes he discusses the difficulty of making his improvisations sound written, and therein lies the special allure of this project. Konitz has always been among the most melodic of improvisers, more concerned with weaving a lyrical line through chord changes than displaying chops and speed. He is therefore perfectly suited for this task, the result of which is far more subtle and profound than an attempt to make the Impressionists "swing." It’s surely one of the most genuine and informed "Third Stream" endeavors to come before the public.
Track Listing: 1. Bandar-Log 2. Colibir 3. Sur Un Lanterne 4. Reverie 5. Berceuse Sur le Nom De Gabriel Faure 6. L
Personnel: Lee Konitz, alto saxophone; Meg Okura, first violin; Rob Thomas, second violin; Judith Insell, viola; Catherine Bent, cello; Ohad Talmor, arranger and musical director
I love jazz because it's sophisticated, international, atmospheric yet free, cool and warm.
I was first exposed to jazz through the sultry voice and flawless swing of my mother.
I met Mark Murphy, David Linx, Kurt Elling, and Youn Sun Nah.
The best show I ever attended was Youn Sun Nah in Paris.
The first jazz record I bought was Native Dancer by Wayne Shorter and Milton Nascimento
My advice to new listeners: open your mind and your ears, forget about structure, feel the textures.
Go see live music and keep buying CDs!