Live at the Berlin Jazz Days 1980 Lee Konitz & Martial Solal
- 2No. 317 East 32nd Street05:00
- 3A Ballad for Lennie07:58
- 4Improvisation No. 5306:07
- 5Just a Blues06:04
- 6Star Eyes06:10
- 7Noblesse Oblige06:08
Info for Live at the Berlin Jazz Days 1980
A duo album of the highest caliber! US Alto saxophonist Lee Konitz’s career encompasses the beginnings of bebop, the Birth of the Cool, mainstream as well as the Avant-garde. Konitz has recorded with virtually every major modern jazz figure of the last 60 years, including Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Gil Evans, and Brad Mehldau. French pianist Martial Solal has been a major musical voice since the 1950’s. The two have had a rich musical relationship since the 1960’s. This live 1980 album was conceived in part as a “Lennie Tristano Memorial”. Lee’s studies and playing experience with the iconoclastic pianist left an indelible imprint on the saxophonist’s concept, and Solal is the perfect partner for the project. A free-wheeling interpretation of the standard Invitation is followed by No. 317 East 32nd Street Tristano’s Manhattan address. Martial and Lee play the piece as if they were at one of Lennie’s open-ended sessions, as they experiment with the musical possibilities. The two take a deep bow to the master in a heart-felt A Ballad for Lennie,and Improvisation No.53 has Lee and Martial in an inspired duo hovering around the changes to All the Things You Are. It’s everything but Just A Blues, as the two explore by-tonal pathways. They go on to scope out Star Eyes in a spacey rendition. Noblesse Oblige sounds suspiciously like Cherokee, the composition Charlie Parker morphed into a defining jazz standard. The two play it with the appropriate virtuosic passion. Konitz’s Subconscious-Lee is a bop era classic that transcends the period – an example of Tristano’s innovative influence. An exhilarating exploratory session by two masters of the music.
„This recording contains the music performed at a Lennie Tristano memorial, duets by altoist Lee Konitz (Tristano's greatest student) and pianist Martial Solal. Although the repertoire certainly pays tribute to Tristano's legacy (including such songs as "No. 317 East 32nd Street," "Star Eyes" and Konitz's "Subconsciously"), the altoist had grown quite a bit as an improviser during the previous 30 years and Solal is a major stylist in his own right. Their explorative and spontaneous music covers a wide area of styles from swing and cool-toned bop to freer explorations and lives up to one's expectations.“
Lee Konitz, saxophone
Martial Solal, piano
Recorded live at the Philharmonie of Berlin on 30 October 1980
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 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.
The Lee Konitz DuetsKonitz 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 late '70s Konitz led a notable nonet and 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. Konitz has led consistently stimulating sessions for many labels, including Prestige, Dragon, Pacific Jazz, Vogue, Storyville, Atlantic, Verve, Wave, Milestone, MPS, Polydor, Bellaphon, SteepleChase, Sonet, Groove Merchant, Roulette, Progressive, Choice, IAI, Chiaroscuro, Circle, Black Lion, Soul Note, Storyville, Evidence, and Philogy. 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.
This album contains no booklet.