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Jazz At Storyville

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Album Review

The Lee Konitz at Storyville album on the Jazztone label features material that has been repackaged and reissued in several different configurations on Black Lion. But the Jazztone album was already a reissue when it came out, a selection of material that had first seen the light of the day on the Storyville club's own self-named label. Several different groups are featured in these live recordings, and while even some fans of this style of jazz find Konitz's sidemen interchangeable, there was at least one combo here that was one of the hornman's personal favorites. That group holds forth for the entire first side of At Storyville, beginning with a tragic "Mean to Me" but eventually smiling widely as the beat of "Bop Goes the Leesel" takes hold. "Skylark" also soars, bassist Peter Ind going through the song's difficult bridge as if casually tossing a few coins into a toll basket. Pianist Ronnie Ball is the holdover for both the lineups, and works in a much similar way with Konitz that mentor Lennie Tristano did. They expertly weave around each other, swimming through harmonic structures together like dolphins. Percy Heath, who takes over the bass in the second group, is absolutely no slouch, holding down a somewhat groovier beat that gives the classic tune "Hi Beck" a great lift. There are also nice versions of both "Sound Lee" and "Subconscious Lee." Portions of this album, but not this exact selection of tunes, are also on albums such as Jazz at Storyville and Konitz. No information is given about composers on the original Jazztone sleeve.

Customer Reviews

This is hugely important to a breakaway time

After the guy at the begining stops talking, Lee K starts playing, and the guys behind him never get in the way. He's also tasteful enough to know when to step back.

There are just three important players of the saxaphone in the 1950s.

Art Pepper, John Coltrane and this insanely talented artist.

This is some of the best of all jazz.


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 had...
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