431

Lee Konitz / Martial Solal: Star Eyes

By

Sign in to view read count
Lee Konitz / Martial Solal: Star Eyes Lee Konitz and Martial Solal were in the 15th year of their recorded relationship in the fall of 1983 and their easy rapport is evident within the first notes of "Just Friends," the breezy opener of Star Eyes. After a cursory harmonic introduction by Konitz, Solal enters with a characteristically buoyant counterpoint that sends the altoist to the height of his register. The liberties the duo take with the familiar standard sound every bit as fresh today as they must have sounded to the audience in Hamburg 25 years ago.

In the notes to this reissue, writer Art Lange sums up the openness and support that Solal's piano affords Konitz: "Solal's gift to Konitz is a liberation from inherent restrictions." Indeed, the altoist's famously bone-dry lines tend toward extremes of range and duration and often seem to brim with a rare urgency.

On "It's You," a Konitz original, the saxophonist unfurls a series of cascading lines that mirror the easy virtuosity of Solal's preceding solo statement. Over the pliant chords, Konitz zips through the last boppish A section and barely beats Solal's right hand in a brilliant gliss to the piece's final note. "Subconscious-Lee" finds an ebullient Konitz feeding off Solal's rhythmic and harmonic provocations. The altoist begins with Charlie Parker's melody to "Hot House," before slipping into an improvisation that is, at once, a brilliant abstraction on the piece and a completely unencumbered dialogue with Solal. After sparkling unaccompanied piano, Konitz reenters with his own melody over the familiar chord changes and the piece ends with a brilliant run down Solal's keyboard.

The duo are equally assured and unfettered during the quieter moments. On "What's New," sparkling lines of melodic clarity are developed and tempo is manipulated from funeral dirge to bright midrange swing. Brief solo explorations lead back together to a beautifully ambiguous ending.

Track Listing: Just Friends; Star Eyes; It's You; Body & Soul; Subconscious-Lee; Fluctuat Nec Mergitur; April; What's New; Cherokee.

Personnel: Lee Konitz: alto sax; Martial Solal: piano.

Title: Star Eyes | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Hatology


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Opening Statement" CD/LP/Track Review Opening Statement
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Akua's Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 9, 2017
Read "Black Art Jazz Collective - Presented By The Side Door Jazz Club" CD/LP/Track Review Black Art Jazz Collective - Presented By The Side Door Jazz...
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 28, 2016
Read "Blow + Beat" CD/LP/Track Review Blow + Beat
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "Manovuotometro" CD/LP/Track Review Manovuotometro
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 24, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.