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Lee Konitz

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 big influence on his conception and approach to improvising.

Konitz was with Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool Nonet during their one gig and their Capitol recordings (1948-1950) and recorded with Lennie Tristano's innovative sextet (1949), including the first two free improvisations ever documented. Konitz blended very well with Warne Marsh's tenor (their unisons on "Wow" are miraculous) and would have several reunions with both Tristano and Marsh through the years, but he was also interested in finding his own way; by the early '50s he started breaking away from the Tristano school. Konitz toured Scandinavia (1951), where his cool sound was influential, and he fit in surprisingly well with Stan Kenton & His Orchestra (1952-1954), being featured on many charts by Bill Holman and Bill Russo.

Konitz was primarily a leader from that point on. He almost retired from music in the early '60s but re-emerged a few years later. His recordings have ranged from cool bop to thoughtful free improvisations, and his Milestone set of Duets (1967) is a classic. In the '70s and '80s, Konitz increased his recorded output, issuing consistently stimulating sessions for such labels as SteepleChase, Philogy, Soul Note, and others.

In 1992, he won the prestigious Jazzpar Prize. He kept a busy release schedule throughout the '90s and dabbled in the world of classical music with 2000's French Impressionist Music from the Turn of the Twentieth Century. The Mark Masters Ensemble joined him for 2004's One Day with Lee, and in 2007 he recorded Portology with the Ohad Talmor Big Band. He has recorded on soprano and tenor but has mostly stuck to his distinctive alto.

In 2011, he released his own trio album Knowinglee and appeared on the live ECM date Live at Birdland (recorded in 2009) with pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Charlie Haden, and drummer Paul Motian. Three years later, he joined Dan Tepfer, Michael Janisch, and Jeff Williams for First Meeting: Live in London, Vol. 1. In 2017, Konitz delivered the quartet date Frescalalto, featuring pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Kenny Washington. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Frescalalto

1. Stella By Starlight

2. Thingin

3. Darn That Dream

4. Kary's Trance

5. Out Of Nowhere

6. Gundula

7. Invitation

8. Cherokee

x

Track List: Leewise

1. Partout

2. Alone Together

3. Body And Soul

4. Leewise

5. Jesper Lee

6. Subconscious Lee (1993)

7. Peggy Lee

8. Skygger

9. Allan Lee

10. Pazzenger

11. Jens Lee

12. Shardust

x

Track List: First Meeting: Live In London, Volume 1

1. Billie's Bounce (Live)

2. All The Things You Are (Live)

3. Stella By Starlight (Live)

4. Giant Steps (Live)

5. Body & Soul (Live)

6. Alone Together (Live)

7. Subconscious Lee (Live)

8. Outro (Sweet & Lovely) (Live)

x

Track List: 1954 Jazz Masters

1. Hi Beck

2. Subconscious-Lee (Live)

3. Foolin' Myself (Live)

4. Sound Lee

5. These Foolish Things

6. Ablution

7. Bop Goes The Leesel

8. Easy Living

9. Mean To Me

10. I'll Remember April (1954)

11. Limehouse Blues

12. 317 East 32nd

13. Skylark

14. Nursery Rhyme

15. If I Had You

x

Track List: Insight

1. Thingin'

2. Three Of Four

3. Insight

x

Track List: Alone Together

1. Alone Together

2. The Song Is You

3. Cherokee

4. What Is This Thing Called Love?

5. 'Round Midnight

6. You Stepped Out Of A Dream

x

Track List: Sound-Lee 26 - (1 Of 4)

1. Progression

2. Tautology

3. Retrospection

4. Subconscious-Lee

5. Judy

6. Marshmallow

7. Fishin' Around

8. Sound-Lee

9. Rebecca

10. You Go To My Head

11. Ice Cream Konitz

12. Palo Alto

13. Odjenar

14. Hibeck

15. Yesterdays

16. Ezz-Thetic

17. Indian Summer

18. Duet For Saxophone And Guitar

x

Track List: Subconsious-Lee

1. Progression

2. Tautology

3. Retrospection

4. Subconcious-Lee

5. Judy

6. Marshmellow

7. Fishin' Around

8. Tautology

9. Sound-Lee

10. Rebecca

11. You Go To My Head

12. Ice Cream Konitz

13. Palo Alto

x

Track List: Motion

1. I Remember You

2. All Of Me

3. Foolin' Myself

4. You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To

5. I'll Remember April

x

Track List: After Hours Vol. 7

1. It's You Or No One

2. Alone Together

3. Mr. Green

4. Sweet And Lovely

5. Stella By Starlight

6. How Deep Is The Ocean

x

Track List: Tenorlee

1. I Rememeber You

2. Skylark

3. Thanks For The Memory

4. Your Are Too Beautiful

5. Handful Of Stars

6. Autumn Nocturne

7. Tangerine

8. Tenorlee / Lady Be Good

9. The Gypsy

10. 'Tis Autumn

x

Track List: Parallels

1. How Deep Is The Ocean

2. For Hans

3. Skylark

4. LT

5. 317 East 32nd

6. Palo Alto

7. Eyes

8. Subconscious-Lee

x

Track List: Subconscious Lee

x

Track List: Strings For Holiday

1. The Man I Love

2. You've Changed

3. God Bless The Child

4. But Beautiful

5. I Cried For You

6. Lover Man (1996)

7. All Of Me (1996)

8. Good Morning Heartache

9. For Heaven's Sake

10. Easy Living

11. These Foolish Things

12. For All We Know

x

Track List: Jazz At Storyville

1. Intoduction By John Mclelland

2. Hi Beck

3. If I Had You

4. Subconcious-Lee

5. Sound Lee

6. Foolin' Myself

7. Introduction By John Mclelland

8. Ablution

9. These Foolish Things

10. End Announcement By John Mclelland

x

Track List: Wild As Springtime

1. Ezz-Thetic

2. Hairy Canary

3. She's As Wild As Springtime

4. Duende

5. It's You

6. Prelude No. 20

7. Spinning Waltz

8. Silly Samba

9. Hi Beck

10. KO

11. Hairy Canary (Alternate Take)

12. Ezz-Thetic (Alternate Take)

x

Track List: Dovetail

1. I Want To Be Happy

2. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes

3. Counter-Point

4. Dovetail

5. Sweet Georgia Brown

6. Alone Together

7. Cherokee

8. Penthouse Serenade

9. Play Fiddle Play

x

Track List: Spirits

1. Baby

2. Dreams

3. Two Not One

4. Hugo's Head

5. Background Music

6. Lennie Bird

7. Wow

8. Kary's Trance

9. Another 'Nother

x

Track List: The Lee Konitz Duets

1. Struttin' With Some Barbecue

2. You Don’t Know What Love Is (1967)

3. Variations On Alone Together

4. Checkerboard

5. ERB

6. Tickle Toe

7. Duplexity

8. Alphanumeric

x

Track List: You And Lee

1. Ev'rything I've Got (Belongs To You)

2. You Don't Know What Love Is

3. You're Driving Me Crazy

4. I Didn't Know About You

5. (You're Clear) Out Of This World

6. The More I See

7. You Are Too Beautiful

8. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You

x

Track List: Live At The Half Note

Disc 1

1. Palo Alto

2. How About You

3. My Melancholy Baby

4. Scrapple From The Apple

5. You Stepped Out Of A Dream

6. 317 E 32nd

Disc 2

1. April

2. It's You Or No One

3. Just Friends

4. Baby, Baby All The Time

5. Lennie Bird

6. Subconscious-Lee

x

Track List: The Real Lee Konitz

1. Straight Away

2. Foolin' Myself

3. You Go To My Head

4. My Melancholy Baby

5. Pennies In Minor

6. Sweet And Lovely

7. Easy Livin'

8. Midway

x

Track List: Inside Hi-Fi

1. Kary's Trance

2. Everything Happens To Me

3. Sweet And Lovely

4. Cork 'N' Bib

5. All Of Me

6. Star Eyes

7. Nesuhi's Instant

8. Indiana

x

Track List: In Harvard Square

1. No Splice

2. She's Funny That Way

3. Time On My Hands

4. Foolin' Myself

5. Ronnie's Tune

6. Froggy Day

7. My Old Flame

8. If I Had You

9. Foolin' Myself (2nd Version)

10. Ablution

x

Track List: George Wein Presents Lee Konitz At Storyville (Bonus Track Version)

1. Introduction By John Mclellan

2. Hi Beck

3. If I Had You

4. Subconscious-Lee

5. Sound Lee

6. Foolin' Myself

7. Introduction By John Mclellan

8. Ablution

9. These Foolish Things

10. Final Announcement

11. Bop Goes The Leesel

12. Easy Living

13. Mean To Me

14. I'll Remember April

15. 317 East 32nd

16. Skylark

17. Nursery Rhyme

18. Limehouse Blues

Comments

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All yall haters hate but lovers love. So lovers keep loving and ignore the haters
Because anime is beautiful
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emilywatters 7
The anime is... interesting. . . but in a good way
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Everyone is a sax at heart <3
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Michael A. Missiras, Ph.D.
Trumpet/Corn e t / C o m p o s e r
NYC/ arctic1974@g m a i l . c o m

Along with Art Pepper, Hal Mckusak, Paul Desmond, Konitz marched to a different drummer that did not necessarily play for Charlie Parker. Instead they prized a lighter tone and a different approach to much of the same material Parker played. I'm not sure being from any coast had anything to do with these alto players fresh concoction of Jazz.
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Just playing random notes is not music. It is noisemaking
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sounds alright. definately a lot like parker!
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Lee Konitz, Lennie Tristano, Jerry Wald, Gil Evans, Miles Davis, Bill Evans... a tradition, a synergy that created a whole school of jazz in the early 1960s. Wow!
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mostlymochso n
He is one of the greats . I was fortunate to have taken a lesson from him. It enhanced my playing a great deal. We had a mutual friend in Dick Katz who passed last year. I miss him . Lee, Keep blowing forever . Lew Mochson
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I have been a Konitz fan since the 50's. Wonderful sound and conception!
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how can i remove from my playlist?
Report as inappropriate
His sound was truly cool, but Desmond was more intelligibly inventive.
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tchsapr
Brilliant mind, a giant.
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LEE KONITZ...... . C O O L !
Report as inappropriate
plhnth
Beautiful

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