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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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lee Konitz: Frescalalto

Read "Frescalalto" reviewed by Ian Patterson

For over seven decades, since his participation in Miles Davis's 1949-1950 Birth of the Cool sessions, Lee Konitz has carved out a tireless path as one of jazz's most illuminating improvisers. Recorded at the tail end of 2015, when he was already 87 years old, Frescalalto sees Konitz in a straight-ahead session effectively marshalled by the trio of Kenny Barron, Peter Washington and Kenny Washington, who provide bags of rhythmic momentum. Standards and Konitz originals make for familiar fare, with ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Lee Konitz 90th Birthday Celebration at Regatta Bar

Read "Lee Konitz 90th Birthday Celebration at Regatta Bar" reviewed by Steve Provizer

Lee Konitz Regatta Bar 90th Birthday Celebration Boston, MA January 26, 2018 Not many jazz musicians active in the 1940's are still around, never mind on the road, gigging. Last Friday at the Regatta Bar one of these rare jazz birds, alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, came through town, celebrating his 90th birthday. Konitz was an early experimenter with Lennie Tristano, an important member of Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Cathing up with Lee Konitz

Read "Cathing up with Lee Konitz" reviewed by Lazaro Vega

This interview was first published at All About Jazz in May 1999 and is part of our ongoing effort to archive pre-database material. The Lee Konitz Trio, Mother's Day, May 9th At 4 P.M. In The 165 Seat Urban Institute For Contemporary Arts Theater, 41 Sheldon Blvd. Ne, Grand Rapids, Mi. The Alto Saxophone Master With Bassist Jeff Halsey Of Bowling Green University And Drummer Pete Siers Of Ann Arbor. Tickets Are $15. All About Jazz: ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Lee Konitz: Four Classic Albums

Read "Lee Konitz: Four Classic Albums" reviewed by David Rickert

Besides being one of the few altoists that emerged in the 1950s that doesn't sound like Charlie Parker, Lee Konitz was a true musical adventurer whose explorations in free jazz, electronic instruments, and just all around anything goes sessions resulted in some of the most exciting music that came out of the fifties and beyond. His playing, which is marked by a detachment and intellectualism that can sound rehearsed, isn't for everyone, but there's no doubt that Konitz has, and ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Lee Konitz: What True Improvising Is

Read "Lee Konitz:  What True Improvising Is" reviewed by Bob Kenselaar

Lee Konitz is legendary as one of the great individualists in jazz, an art form that has always placed an extraordinary high value on individualism and unique forms of expression. “I've pretty much dedicated myself to trying to figure out what true improvising is," he says, “as opposed to playing what you know and getting loose with it. I probably have a bit of a unique place in being able to fool around with famous tunes the way I do."

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lee Konitz / Bill Frisell / Gary Peacock / Joey Baron: Enfants Terribles: Live at the Blue Note

Read "Enfants Terribles: Live at the Blue Note" reviewed by Greg Simmons

At almost 85 years old Lee Konitz can play whatever he damn well pleases on his alto saxophone, and it's a good thing he does. He may currently be making some of the most interesting music of his long career. Enfants Terribles: Live at the Blue Note teams Konitz with three first-rate musicians--all jazz stars in their own right--for an album of standards so loosely interpreted that finding the recognizable melody is a bit like a “Where's Waldo" puzzle. It's ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lee Konitz / Bill Frisell / Gary Peacock / Joey Baron: Enfants Terribles: Live at the Blue Note

Read "Enfants Terribles: Live at the Blue Note" reviewed by Mark Corroto

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lee Konitz / Bill Frisell / Gary Peacock / Joey Baron: Enfants Terribles: Live at the Blue Note

Read "Enfants Terribles: Live at the Blue Note" reviewed by John Kelman

The idea of going into a club and playing a set of standards without any plans, preconceptions or pre- arrangements ain't exactly new; it's what plenty of jazz musicians do, each and every night. But it's one thing to go in and run down some Real Book charts, head-solo-head style, and give everyone a chance to stretch out and solo on some familiar material; it's another thing entirely to be at a level where the material is reinvented, set after ...

REASSESSING

Lee Konitz and Martial Solal: Star Eyes 1983

Read "Lee Konitz and Martial Solal: Star Eyes 1983" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Lee Konitz and Martial SolalStar Eyes 1983Hatology2009 Even in his eighties, pianist Martial Solal has proven to be the Higgs' Boson of jazz. He readily demonstrates the substantial mass he brings to music most recently on his uniformly excellent Live at the Village Vanguard: I Can't Give You Anything But Love (Cam Jazz, 2008). This recording is sub-atomic, elemental jazz ,or, in the literary vernacular, post-modern, deconstructive jazz. Solal dismantled the Great ...

FILM REVIEWS

New Thinking in Jazz Education: Lee Konitz and Jean-Michel Pilc

Read "New Thinking in Jazz Education:  Lee Konitz and Jean-Michel Pilc" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The idea of making the mold while breaking the mold may seem paradoxical, but it's appropriate when exploring education. The education sector has become obsessed with standardization--in regard to everything from pedagogy and methodology to content--but nobody seems to address the fact that much of the content itself wouldn't exist if not for original thinkers who refused to adhere to the norms and expectations that shackle others. The very idea of learning is to better yourself and go a step ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Konitz / Mehldau / Haden / Motian: Live at Birdland

Read "Live at Birdland" reviewed by Kevin Davis

It begins with a conversation between Lee Konitz's airy alto sax and Paul Motian's even more ethereal drums, and instantly the groove of this 1954 Sonny Rollins workhorse, “Oleo," feels comfortable, welcoming, and lived-in. Like much of what transpired on the December, 2009 dates from which ECM culled Live at Birdland, which plays home to this and five other post-bop standbys, the rapport between Konitz, Motian, pianist Brad Mehldau and bassist Charlie Haden is casual and offhanded, but there in ...


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