This unusual two-CD set not only reissues the original LP of the same name but three other rare Verve LP's from the 1950's. Altoist Lee Konitz (on "An Image") is showcased during a set of adventurous Bill Russo arrangements for an orchestra and strings in 1958, pops up on half of Ralph Burns' underrated 1951 classic Free Forms (the most enjoyable of the four sets) and meets up with baritonist Jimmy Giuffre, whose arrangements for five saxes (including the great tenor Warne Marsh) and a trio led by pianist Bill Evans are sometimes equally influenced by classical music and bop.
Lee Konitz has been a constant explorer throughout most of his career, never satisfied with a standard approach or falling into a rut with a particular instrumentation. This 1974 duo session with bassist Red Mitchell, which focuses exclusively on the works of Cole Porter, is one great example. With an inventive accompanist like Mitchell spurring him on, the alto saxophonist is able to work magical variations of the familiar Porter works, while Konitz retains his remarkable dry signature tone.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. Lee Konitz has had many opportunities to record with European artists over the decades, but this session is a bit unusual, in that all the compositions are by bassist Giovanni Tommaso and Konitz doesn't stick strictly to alto saxophone. Joining them are pianist Franco D'Andrea (with whom Konitz worked on a number of Philology CDs decades later), trumpeter Enrico Rava and drummer Gegé Munari.
Costumes Are Mandatory is very collegially advertised as a collaborative album featuring Ethan Iverson, Lee Konitz, Larry Grenadier, and Jorge Rossy. And while the music may indeed be collaborative, even multi-improvisational at times, it's Iverson's date and he's very clearly the leader.