Jazz The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/jazz/1914.html Wed, 21 Feb 2024 22:51:44 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management pl-pl Konitz Mehldau Haden Motion – Live At Birdland (2009) http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/jazz/1914-lee-konitz/10229-konitz-mehldau-haden-motion-live-at-birdland-2009.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/jazz/1914-lee-konitz/10229-konitz-mehldau-haden-motion-live-at-birdland-2009.html Konitz Mehldau Haden Motion – Live At Birdland (2009)

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1. Lover Man
2. Lullaby of Birdland
3. Solar
4. I Fall in Love too Easily
5. You Stepped out of a Dream
6. Oleo

 Lee Konitz: alto saxphone
 Brad Mehldau: piano
 Charlie Haden: double-bass
 Paul Motian: drums


A quartet of master musicians and a programme of jazz classics. Live At Birdland presents the finest moments from two inspired nights at New York's legendary club, as Konitz, Mehldau, Haden and Motian play "Loverman", "Lullaby Of Birdland", "Solar", "I Fall In Love Too Easily", "You Stepped Out Of A Dream" and "Oleo" with freedom, tenderness, and a love of melody that only jazz's greatest improvisers can propose.

On this live recording from New York's legendary club, an ensemble of history-making players dives into the music without a set list. Four exceptional jazz musicians -Lee Konitz, Brad Mehldau, Charlie Haden and Paul Motian - approach the standards from new perspectives and unusual angles. They play them with freedom, tenderness and a melodic and rhythmic understanding found only amongst jazz's greatest improvisers.

The recording was made at Birdland and mixed by Manfred Eicher and the quartet, with James Farber as engineer, at New York's Avatar Studios. Songs selected by this team from the performances of December 9 and 10, 2009, are: "Lover Man", "Lullaby Of Birdland", "Solar", "I Fall In Love Too Easily", "You Stepped Out Of A Dream" and "Oleo". Konitz has often said that he tries to play the material as if encountering it for the first time. With all four musicians listening intently, discoveries are continually made in the music.

"Lover Man", the ballad strongly associated with Billie Holiday (but also, for instance, with Lee Konitz and Gerry Mulligan at Newport) makes an arresting opening track, with the uniquely melancholy cry of Lee's alto sax to the fore. Mehldau's solo gives immediate notice of his architectural intelligence as a player, and in his subtle comping he continually builds bridges between the idiosyncratic playing styles of his associates. Haden's bass solo is characteristically soulful, Motian's deft brushes perfectly placed.

"Lullaby Of Birdland", composed in 1952, acquires additional poignancy through the recent death of its composer, George Shearing. (Lee Konitz, now 83, is said to be the only living jazz soloist to have played all of the diverse addresses of the Birdland club, starting in 1949.) The piece is driven here by the marvellous rhythmic interplay of Haden and Motian, their near-telepathic understanding honed long ago during their decade-plus association with Keith Jarrett in the 1960s and 70s.

"Solar" begins with an abstract clarion call from Konitz. "Mr. Konitz, with a piece of fabric stuffed into the bell of his horn to mute it, started playing Miles Davis's `Solar' and Mr. Motian joined in, followed by the others. A skeletal groove emerged...", wrote Ben Ratliff in the NY Times. Mehldau's solo is a marvel of invention, lifted up by the waves of Motian's wayward drums. "I Fall In Love Too Easily" is a touching rendition of the Jule Styne ballad (a song first intoned by Frank Sinatra in 1945) with fine outlining of the melody by Mehldau, and Konitz almost Ornette-like in his phrasing. The singing quality of the performance is extended in Haden's heartfelt solo.

"You Stepped Out Of a Dream" was previously recorded by Konitz, Mehldau and Haden for a Blue Note trio album 1997: the powerful presence of Paul Motian on the present recording transforms it completely. Sonny Rollins's "Oleo" is given one of the freest performances of the set, beginning with a beautifully elastic Konitz/Motian duet. Brad Mehldau has commented on the performance's cool chromaticism, allied to the rhythmic phrasing of bebop, until the tune is deconstructed in the final moments of collective soloing. When these musicians play the standards, they do indeed make them new. ---Editorial Reviews


This bear of an album features four jazz lions, captured live in two nights at Birdland in December of 2009. Alto saxophonist extraordinaire Konitz was eighty-two at the time, drummer Motian and bassist Haden weren't that far behind him at seventy-eight and seventy-two respectively. Mehldau seems a mere babe by comparison at thirty-nine but had been captivating jazz audiences with his creative piano work for twenty years.

The recording catches these four masters improvising on a set of standards, both pop and jazz. The reward to the listener isn't the chance to in hear new compositions but to hear these four masters play impassioned, often lyrical, solos, extending themselves at length. The musicians all have time to stretch out. (The shortest piece runs ten minutes seventeen seconds and the longest fifteen minutes and twenty seconds.) There is a phenomenal rendition of "Lover Man," a kinky and fun "Lullaby of Birdland," Miles Davis's "Solar" and Sony Rollin's "Oleo," the pop standards "I Fall in Love Too Easily" and "You Stepped Out of a Dream."

It is evident that these four musicians enjoyed playing together. All four play well. But Konitz, he is best of all. The man plays as fluently and more passionately as he did fifty years ago. (If ever the label `cool' applied to him, it hasn't for the last thirty or forty years.) How does he keep so young? Playing out of the bop/postbop mode he imbibed half a century ago playing with Lennie Tristano and Warne Marsh and the Kenton band, he continues to surprise with his energy and his unbelievable inventiveness.

This is not to insult the other players. They are giants in their own accord. Haden's deep woody sound and melodic playing masks a keen knowledge of the rhythmic and melodic displacements required of modernist jazz. His solos are always worth savoring. As for Mehldau, he continues to surprise. He can move from lyrical to idiosyncratic in seconds, and his solo stretches are always interesting and coherent. Note especially his quirky solo on "Lullaby of Broadway," where at moments he almost seems to channeling Dave Brubeck, circa the early fifties, before Columbia took Brubeck over and made him a mass-market commodity. Motian is good -he's never bad- but his work is the least satisfying on the record. At times it's perfect for the ensemble -using his minimalized drum set, he produces a string of taps, nudges and whirs that dance along beside the melody rather than a steady pulse of drumbeats. At other times, and especially during his accompaniment for "Lullaby,' he sounds intrusive and even clunky. (I had the same complaint about his drumming on the Martial Solal album, Just Friends, 1998. The drummer's usually impeccable sense of time, which underpins his use of off-time accents, fails him on this album at times, as on the earlier one.) Still, that's a small complaint about a very good album. All four of these musicians are National Treasures and we should buy their records while we can.

The recording was done by ECM, so the sound quality is flawless. ---David Keymer. Amazon.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Lee Konitz Thu, 15 Sep 2011 09:31:47 +0000
Lee Konitz - Satori (1974) http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/jazz/1914-lee-konitz/17179-lee-konitz-satori-1974.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/jazz/1914-lee-konitz/17179-lee-konitz-satori-1974.html Lee Konitz - Satori (1974)

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01. Just Friends (7:01)
02. On Green Dolphin Street (5:43)
03. Satori (9:04)
04. Sometime Ago (7:19)
05. What's New (3:24)
06. Hymn (2:44)
07. Free Blues (7:49)

Jack DeJohnette - Drums
Dave Holland - Bass
Dick Katz - Piano Electric (3)
Lee Konitz - Sax (Alto)
Martial Solal - Piano, Piano Electric (4)


This is an excellent release that is fairly typical of a Lee Konitz program from the 1970s and '80s. There are a few standards (such as "Just Friends," "Green Dolphin Street" and "What's New"), a few fairly advanced pieces ("Satori" and "Free Blues"), thoughtful improvisations and a bit of hard-swinging. Inspired by the presence of pianist Martial Solal, bassist David Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette, Konitz stretches himself as usual and comes up with consistently fresh statements while generally playing at a low introspective volume. –--Scott Yanow, Rovi

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Lee Konitz Wed, 14 Jan 2015 16:38:28 +0000
Lee Konitz New Quartet - Live at the Village (2010) http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/jazz/1914-lee-konitz/6850-lee-konitz-new-quartet-live-at-the-village-2010.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/jazz/1914-lee-konitz/6850-lee-konitz-new-quartet-live-at-the-village-2010.html Lee Konitz New Quartet - Live At The Village Vanguard (2010)

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01. Cherokee       play
02. Subconscious-Lee
03. I Remember You
04. Polka Dots and Moonbeams
05. Color
06. Kary's Trance
07. Thingin'

Lee Konitz (alto saxophone); 
Florian Weber (piano); 
Jeff Denson (bass);
Ziv Ravitz (drums).

The Village Vanguard (03/31/2009/04/01/2009).


JazzTimes - "While his alto still has a dry, cool sound, his tone is now more vocal, personal and expressive. It all makes for revelatory, surprising renditions of repertoire he's been improvising on throughout his life."

"Considered one of the driving forces of jazz, American jazz composer and alto saxophonist Lee Konitz is able to erase context and preconceptions, and more or less blow your mind." -- New York Times

This may be one of Lee Konitz's most enjoyable albums. The trio Minsarah (Florian Weber, piano; Jeff Denson, bass; Ziv Ravitz, drums) provides an ideal match for the veteran alto saxman. And this fine international trio has several opportunities to stretch out on its own in appealing fashion when Konitz sits out. Konitz himself sounds particularly inspired, and his cool, dry, rather unique sound, while certainly not dominating the proceedings, is the clinching factor in my 5-star rating. This is clearly a group effort, however, and everything works wonderfully. Varied metres and time-elasticity adds to the listener's interest. There's just enough audience noise included to remind you that it's a live recording.


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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Lee Konitz Thu, 16 Sep 2010 16:03:59 +0000
Lee Konitz Quartet & Kenny Barron – Jazz Nocturne (1994) http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/jazz/1914-lee-konitz/20029-lee-konitz-quartet-a-kenny-barron--jazz-nocturne-1994.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/jazz/1914-lee-konitz/20029-lee-konitz-quartet-a-kenny-barron--jazz-nocturne-1994.html Lee Konitz Quartet & Kenny Barron – Jazz Nocturne (1994)

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01. You’d Be So Nice To Come Home
02. Everything Happens To Me
03. Alone Together
04. Misty
05. Body And Soul
06. My Funny Valentine
07. In A Sentimental Mood

Kenny Barron – Piano
James Genus – Bass
Lee Konitz - Sax (Alto)
Kenny Washington - Drums


Although never a poll winner, altoist Lee Konitz has had a more productive and consistently stimulating career than most of his contemporaries, never afraid to improvise fairly freely in his relaxed style. For this Evidence CD, Konitz digs into seven standards with an impressive rhythm section (pianist Kenny Barron, bassist James Genus and drummer Kenny Washington) and constantly comes up with interesting ideas and new twists. There are no phony disguises of familiar tunes with new titles on this date; just creative blowing. Konitz uplifts such often-overplayed material as "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To," "Misty," "Alone Together," "Body and Soul" and "My Funny Valentine" without ever becoming predictable; Kenny Barron is in excellent form, too. This CD is recommended as a strong example of Lee Konitz's playing in the '90s. [Jazz Nocturne was reissued on an import-only CD in 1999.] --- Scott Yanow, Rovi

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Lee Konitz Thu, 14 Jul 2016 13:10:02 +0000