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Lee Konitz

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Album Review

Pairing alto saxophonist Lee Konitz with pianist Hal Galper makes for plenty of inspired moments in this 1975 studio date. Starting with an inventive reshaping of "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You," which transforms this swing era favorite into a driving bop vehicle, both Konitz and Galper intensely listen to one another and react intuitively to each other as if they had been playing together for a long while. Galper's lively backing pushes Konitz into some wild changes on this familiar work. "Sweet and Lovely" has a Monk-like humor to it, while "Stella by Starlight" strays far from its roots as the leader offers a stunning unaccompanied introduction. Each artist has a solo feature: Galper's "Villainesque" is an enchanting modal masterpiece, while Konitz's "Soliloquy" sounds like a complex variation of the chord changes of the standard "All the Things You Are." The 1987 CD reissue adds four valuable alternate takes to the original release.

Biography

Born: 13 October 1927 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

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

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...
Full bio