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Out of Nowhere

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Album Review

Altoist Lee Konitz and pianist Paul Bley had been aware of each other since the 1950s. They first recorded together in the 1970s for Bley's IAI label, although this 1997 meeting is actually their most rewarding joint recording. When Konitz solos on these seven veteran standards, Bley plays fairly straightforwardly, but when it is time for the piano solos, Bley stretches himself and shows why he was considered one of the earliest free stylists. With the flexible Jay Anderson and Billy Drummond on bass and drums, the lead voices have plenty of support no matter what direction they take the music. Konitz was always a very open improviser, so this combination works quite well. Highlights include "I'll Remember April," "Out of Nowhere," and "I Want to Be Happy."


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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