103

Sound-Lee!: Plays the Music Of Lee Konitz

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Sound-Lee!: Plays the Music Of Lee Konitz The Dutch piano trio led by Guss Jenssen adds alto saxophonist and countryman Jorrit Dijkstra for this tribute to Lee Konitz. Actually, to be precise, this is a tribute to the music of Lee Konitz.

Not the Lee Konitz of this century, with his polished elder statesman tone, nor the cool leanings of his collaborations with Miles Davis and Gil Evans. This live recording from 2001 is both a backwards look to Konitz’s collaboration with pianist Lennie Tristano and a forward prediction of what might happen if Lennie were still around for a reunion gig.

Tristano’s craftsmanship (while Konitz was a disciple) was a perfect foil to the openly emotional bop revolution that was occurring in the 1940s and '50s. Jenssen and Dijkstra make this their jumping off point. They turn five Konitz, one Tristano, and one Dijkstra composition into a "back to the future" 21st-century jazz quartet sitting in on a 1950’s jazz club.

”Progression” opens the disc with a mid-tempo junket allowing room to stretch out sax, drum and piano solos. Jenssen incorporates two-handed rhythms and speed into an impressive statement. The follow-the-leader by way the odd note of “Hi Beck” is a perfect jumping off point for Dijkstra to both align himself with Konitz and touch on Desmond and Dolphy.

Jenssen’s piano, well-informed by Tristano, doesn’t ignore the innovations of Thelonious Monk and Elmo Hope, while touching on Teddy Wilson and Art Tatum. Stride is played alongside the coolness these tunes were written for, almost as if Jenssen thought “play early Cecil Taylor” while setting up for this gig. Both “Palo Alto” and “Ablution” display a breakneck bebop style without stepping into the realm of hard bop. They preserve the politeness of Konitz and Charlie Parker with speed instead of harshness.

Dijkstra is an experienced avant gardist, evidenced on the recent solo recording 30 Micro-Stems (BVHaast) and Humming, with the Canadian band Talking Pictures (Songlines). His prior musical efforts have displayed a fertile imagination and a strong sense of the music of Ornette Coleman and John Zorn. This outing has Dijkstra walking the same free path, but beginning with Lee Konitz circa 1950.

The cool tone of “Kary’s Trance” is also not without its quick-witted intricacies. Dijkstra weaves a bit of Ornette through the Konitz original, tempting an outward path as Konitz was know to do. Jenssen reenters with two-handed elegance a la John Lewis before himself venturing a bit out.

It seems to be more enjoyable for out cats to play in straighter settings these days; their control adds to the excitement.

The quartet proves the truly hip music of Konitz & Tristano played today loses none of its downtown swank, even in translation.

Track Listing: Progression; Hi Beck; Palo-Alto; Near-Lee; Ablution; Kary

Personnel: Guus Jenssen - Piano; Jorrit Dijkstra - Alto Saxophone; Raoul van der Weide - Bass; Wim Jenssen - Drums.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: GeestGronden | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Soul Garden CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Authorized Bang Collection CD/LP/Track Review The Authorized Bang Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Live at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival / Matt Savage: Piano Voyages" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival /...
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "Second Impression" CD/LP/Track Review Second Impression
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 14, 2016
Read "Danse" CD/LP/Track Review Danse
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "The Blue Shroud" CD/LP/Track Review The Blue Shroud
by John Sharpe
Published: September 17, 2016
Read "Jungle: Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Jungle: Live At Okuden
by John Sharpe
Published: November 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!