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Album Review

This is a very interesting if occasionally unsettling CD. Lee Konitz (doubling on alto and soprano) and his 1990 quartet (which is comprised of Kenny Werner on piano and occasional synthesizer, bassist Ron McClure and drummer Bill Stewart) emphasize freely improvised performances throughout the date. Two standards ("Prelude to a Kiss" and "Taking a Chance on Love") are interpreted pretty freely while all of the other selections are group originals; Konitz even takes an unplanned "vocal" (more an example of sound explorations then an attempt at conventional singing) on "Synthesthetics." This is a consistently stimulating and rather unpredictable outing by the talented group.


Born: 13 October 1927 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most individual of all altoists (and one of the few in the 1950s who did not sound like a cousin of Charlie Parker), the cool-toned Lee Konitz has always had a strong musical curiosity, leading him to consistently take chances and stretch himself, usually quite successfully. Early on he studied clarinet, switched to alto, and played with Jerry Wald. Konitz gained some attention for his solos with Claude Thornhill & His Orchestra (1947). He began studying with Lennie Tristano, who had a...
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