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.
Pianist Lennie Tristano was an early inspiration and a major influence on the playing of altoist Lee Konitz and tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh. Their very notable and highly original Capitol recordings of 1949 – with the quiet metronomic rhythm section, advanced melodic improvising, and reharmonizations – stood apart from the typical bop of the period. By 1955, when the earliest performances on this 1997 limited-edition, six-CD set were recorded, the trio was not working together very often; in fact, Tristano was mostly functioning as a teacher, only surfacing for occasional records and club dates.
The rhapsody of the vocal tracks is matched by the more private dialogues of the instrumentals. Demanding but rewarding, this is an essential Konitz album.
Seasons Change is an album by saxophonist Lee Konitz and vibraphonist/pianist Karl Berger recorded in Zürich in 1979 and released on the German Circle label. A beautiful pairing – the vibes and piano of Karl Berger, and the amazingly sharp alto tone of Lee Konitz!
Lee Konitz is a master of linear playing and a stylist on the highest level. The purity of Konitz intonation – that cool nobility which hasy been present in his playing since the 40s – is famous. Lee Konitz shows in this recording just how exquisite chords can sound even without chord instruments. But we have always known Lee to be one of the greatest spontaneous composers of Jazz. To play without chord instruments is absolutely no problem for a baritone saxophonist of Thomas Zoller’s calibre, it has had its own special fascination ever since the days of the Gerry Mulligan Quintet in the 50’s. Carlo Mombelli (South Africa) and Billy Elgart (USA) give a rhythm team that plays from funky to free with inspiring imagination. The result of this group’s unique partnership is a clear, transparent line. A revelry in counterpoint, modern grooves and sounds that ,sophistication.succeeds as seldom before, in a union of eloquence and fire.
Why aren't there more recordings like Fly Away Little Bird? Perhaps it's because there aren't more musicians of this stature. The studio reunion of the legendarily experimental Jimmy Giuffre 3 in 1992 was reissued in 2002 on the French Sunnyside label and is a radical departure from anything the trio had done in the past. These studio apparitions of the band are their most seamlessly accessible while being wildly exploratory. In addition to the consummate improvisations and compositions by Giuffre (title track, a redone "Tumbleweed"), the tender meditations by Steve Swallow ("Fits" and "Starts"), and the bottom-register contrapuntal improves by Paul Bley ("Qualude"), this is a trio recording that uses standards such as "Lover Man," a radically and gorgeously reworked "I Can't Get Started," "Sweet and Lovely," and "All the Things You Are" to state hidden textural possibilities inside chromatic harmony. There is never the notion of restraint in the slow, easy, and proactive way these compositions are approached.
In December 1975, tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh and altoist Lee Konitz went on a European tour. Their musical reunion showed that the magic that had existed between them a quarter-century before when they teamed up with their teacher Lennie Tristano was still very much present…