All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...

211

Lee Konitz & Paul Bley: Out Of Nowhere

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Alto saxophonist Lee Konitz began his more than 50-year career studying with Lennie Tristano and soloing with the Claude Thornhill orchestra and the Miles Davis Nonet before stepping out on his own. His distinctive sound, often described as chilly and dry, and his anti-establishment, modal harmonic improvisations offer the listener a comfortable session containing pleasant lyrical melodies and refreshing colors.

Pianist Paul Bley started his career at about the same time as Konitz, attending the Juilliard School of Music, then working with Charles Mingus, Jackie McLean, Chet Baker, Sonny Rollins, Don Ellis, Jimmy Giuffre, and other jazz legends. His career has afforded Bley the opportunity to form associations with many jazz artists while carving out his own niche, usually described as "avant-garde jazz" with preference for leaving enough space between the notes to allow their beauty to shine through. Supporting Konitz and Bley on this session are bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Billy Drummond.

The SteepleChase label, from Denmark, has issued well over a dozen sessions for Paul Bley – this one is relaxed, with each of these four artists contributing improvisational space. The tunes, mostly familiar easy-to-recognize standards, average eight to nine minutes per track. Drummond lays out on "Lover Man" so that Konitz and Bley may express the piece the way it was intended. Applying lyrical phrases, both leaders present extended solos: Bley with a light touch, keeping the harmony close and maximizing the use of space; Konitz equally light and dry, carrying the lyrics along as if singing them. Similarly, the Vernon Duke classic "I Can't Get Started" is presented slowly and deliberately, with Drummond using brushes; it's an opportunity for Bley to stretch a little.

The moderately paced "Sweet and Lovely" includes fours with Drummond; suiting the mood of the album he is spare in his use of the cymbals here and elsewhere. Instead, the percussionist opts to lay down crisp rolls, moving from one drum to another, slowing down to allow each stroke its distinct pulse. "Don't Blame Me" is a loping ballad presented in blues fashion, with occasional dissonance to keep the perspective clear. Konitz and Bley are unique artists with a sound few can copy, who stroll easily between avant-garde and straight-ahead standards. Recommended.


Track Listing: I'll Remember April; Lover Man; Sweet and Lovely; I Can't Get Started; Out of Nowhere; Don't Blame Me; I Want To Be Happy.

Title: Out Of Nowhere | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: SteepleChase 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.

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Catching Up With
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
Read more articles
Prisma

Prisma

QFTF
2018

buy
Frescalalto

Frescalalto

Impulse!
2017

buy
First Meeting

First Meeting

Whirlwind Recordings
2014

buy
Enfants Terribles: Live at the Blue Note

Enfants Terribles:...

Half Note Records
2012

buy
Lee Konitz: Four Classic Albums

Lee Konitz: Four...

Avid Records UK
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Fearless And Kind CD/LP/Track Review
Fearless And Kind
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read 25th Anniversary Project CD/LP/Track Review
25th Anniversary Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Any Day Now CD/LP/Track Review
Any Day Now
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Adrift CD/LP/Track Review
Adrift
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Folkjazz from Finland CD/LP/Track Review
Folkjazz from Finland
by Anthony Shaw
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Circulate Susanna CD/LP/Track Review
Circulate Susanna
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 13, 2018
Read "Say It" CD/LP/Track Review Say It
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "Spell" CD/LP/Track Review Spell
by Jim Worsley
Published: April 15, 2018
Read "Art Zoyd - 44 1⁄2 At A Glance: Selections from the Art Zoyd Box Set" CD/LP/Track Review Art Zoyd - 44 1⁄2 At A Glance: Selections from the...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 14, 2018
Read "Polka (Worldwide Deluxe Edition)" CD/LP/Track Review Polka (Worldwide Deluxe Edition)
by Chris May
Published: August 8, 2018
Read "Whatever Possessed Me" CD/LP/Track Review Whatever Possessed Me
by Don Phipps
Published: April 22, 2018
Read "In Search Of A Dream" CD/LP/Track Review In Search Of A Dream
by Chris May
Published: July 2, 2018