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Lullaby of Birdland

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Album Review

This interesting match-up works out well. Barry Harris is the definitive bebop pianist, often sounding close to Bud Powell but also influenced by Thelonious Monk and Tadd Dameron. Lee Konitz was one of the very few altoists of the late '40s who did not sound like a close relative of Charlie Parker, instead developing his own cool tone and thoughtful improvising approach. Konitz and Harris have not crossed paths all that often through the years but they joined forces for an engagement at Birdland in 1991. With bassist Calvin Hill and drummer Leroy Williams offering swinging support, Konitz and Harris explore seven bebop standards, with the pianist taking "Cherokee" as his feature. The two stylists mix together just fine. Konitz's sweet/sour tone and melancholy moods are joyfully uplifted by Harris' mastery of bebop.

Biography

Born: October 13, 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 that has led 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...
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