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Lee Konitz

Lee Konitz is an NEA Jazz Master Konitz is sometimes regarded as the preeminent cool jazz saxophonist, because he performed and recorded with Claude Thornhill, Lennie Tristano (both often cited as important cool jazz proponents of the mid 1940s), and with Miles Davis on his epochal Birth of the Cool, which gave the form its name.

Konitz has also been repeatedly noted as one of the few jazz saxophonists of the late 1940s and 1950s who did not seem imitative of the massively influential Charlie Parker.

In the early 1950s, Konitz recorded and toured with Stan Kenton's orchestra.

In 1961, he recorded Motion with Elvin Jones on drums and Sonny Dallas on bass. This spontaneous session, widely regarded as a classic in the cool genre, consisted entirely of standards. The loose trio format aptly featured Konitz's unorthodox phrasing and chromaticism.

In 1967, Konitz recorded The Lee Konitz Duets, a series of duets with various musicians. The duo configurations were often unusual for the period (saxophone and trombone, two saxophones). The recordings drew on very nearly the entire history of jazz, from a Louis Armstrong dixieland number with valve trombonist Marshall Brown to two completely free duos: one with a Duke Ellington associate, violinist Ray Nance, and one with guitarist Jim Hall.

Konitz has been quite prolific, recording dozens of albums as a band leader. He has also recorded or performed with Dave Brubeck, Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Elvin Jones and others.

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Album Review

Steve Arguelles: Here

Read "Here" reviewed by Vincenzo Roggero


In che modo ci si approccia ad una registrazione di solo batteria, se sei un batterista che non crede negli assoli di batteria? Su questa domanda le note di copertina argomentano in modo brillante, lucido, esaustivo. Il musicista in questione è Steve Arguelles veterano della più vivace scena britannica, membro fondatore dei fondamentali Loose Tubes e Human Chain, collaboratore di musicisti come Lee Konitz, Kenny Wheeler, Hugh Masekela, Chris McGregor. La registrazione avviene nella chiesa luterana di ...

14
Extended Analysis

Lennie Tristano Personal Recordings, 1946-1970

Read "Lennie Tristano Personal Recordings, 1946-1970" reviewed by Peter Rubie


They called it the Cool School, but what's in a name?In this case, quite a lot as it happens. The Cool School included musicians like Chet Baker, John Lewis and the Modern Jazz Quartet, and Dave Brubeck. Under the guidance of arranger and composer Gil Evans, it established itself in an unquestionable way with the release of Miles Davis' album Birth of the Cool (Capitol Records) in 1957, though the music had actually been recorded some eight or ...

4
Album Review

Stan Kenton and His Orchestra: In a Lighter Vein

Read "In a Lighter Vein" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Stan Kenton was a man of many moods, as was his intrepid and popular orchestra, which endured until his passing in August 1979 and whose renown is kept alive even today by the Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra. Kenton dons his carefree hat on In a Lighter Vein, an assortment of straight-ahead themes from the orchestra's jazz library, preserved in five concert performances from 1953-55 beneath the umbrella of NBC radio's All Star Parade of Bands. Original compositions ...

3
Radio & Podcasts

Lee Konitz Tribute and New Releases

Read "Lee Konitz Tribute and New Releases" reviewed by Bob Osborne


On this edition a celebration of the music of jazz giant Lee Konitz together with some new releases: Denman Maroney brings an inventive and creative approach to the piano with his new album. Exploring different aspects of the keyboard with his “hyperpiano" he delivers a fresh and exciting sound. JUNO-nominated Canadian jazz quartet, Peripheral Vision release a new double album with producer Jean Martin creating a bigger sound for the record, adding layers of overdubs and ...

2
Interview

Lee Konitz: Il Ricordo di D'Andrea, Fasoli, Giuliani, Pieranunzi, Rava e Tommaso.

Read "Lee Konitz: Il Ricordo di D'Andrea, Fasoli, Giuliani, Pieranunzi, Rava e Tommaso." reviewed by Paolo Marra


Il sassofonista Lee Konitz è stato una delle figure più influenti del jazz moderno non solo per il suono unico al contralto e un senso dell'improvvisazione senza eguali, ma anche per essere rimasto nell'arco della sua lunga carriera sempre fedele a sé stesso ponendo la musica come protagonista assoluta della sua espressività, senza inutili esibizionismi. Dopo aver militato nell'orchestra del pianista e compositore Claude Thornhill a Chicago entra a far parte del nonetto di Miles Davis—conosciuto anche con ...

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Extended Analysis

Live in Schauburg, Bremen, Germany, 1983

Read "Live in Schauburg, Bremen, Germany, 1983" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard


The history of jazz is not only a story of great individuals, but also a narrative of partnerships that have shaped the development of the music. Just think of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines and Al Cohn and Zoot Sims. There's also a proud tradition of combining saxophone and piano with beautiful results. Art Pepper lifted his playing in the company of George Cables and Kenny Barron elevated the late style of Stan Getz.

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Album Review

Lee Konitz: Prisma

Read "Prisma" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Though Lee Konitz has played in a wide variety of settings and styles since his first professional engagement with Teddy Powell in 1945, recordings with full-blown orchestras have been few and far between. Recorded in Frankfurt in 2000, with the Brandenburg State Orchestra conducted by Christoph Campestrini, Prisma captures Konitz interpreting Gunter Buhles' concerto for alto saxophone and orchestra. Composed in four-parts, as opposed to the concerto's more traditional three-part format, Buhles's working title for the project--composed especially for Konitz--was ...

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Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Here

dStream
2023

buy

Lennie Tristano...

Mosaic Records
2022

buy

Thank You, Gerry!

Arkadia Records
2022

buy

The Stars of Jazz #1

Arkadia Records
2021

buy

In a Lighter Vein

Sounds of Yesteryear
2020

buy

Old Songs New

Sunnyside Records
2019

buy

Videos

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