Lee Konitz Quartet feat. Ethan Iverson
cool jazz, free improvisation
A true veteran and a giant of cool jazz. His long career amazes not only with its productivity, but also with its relentless and unique creativity. He has made records constantly from the 40’s onwards, and the latest, Deep Lee, came out last year. According to the Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music, “Konitz is unable to make dull records”. Unlike many of his colleagues, he has become more experimental with age, free improvisation being his forte. Born in Chicago in 1927, Lee Konitz started his career with clarinet at age of 8, inspired by Benny Goodman. Soon he changed to tenor and finally to alto. In the 40’s he was one of the few sax players, who firmly went on creating their own style, while most tried to sound like Lee’s good friend Charlie Parker.
Konitz played on Miles Davis’ legendary album Birth of Cool, but regards his teacher, pianist Lennie Tristano, as the true pioneer of cool jazz. Lee is especially cherished for his fluently melodic, composition-like improvisations. Konitz has worked with Stan Kenton, Gerry Mulligan, Elvin Jones, Ornette Coleman and Charles Mingus, among many others, and has recorded countless albums as a leader with personnel ranging from solos and duos through small and bigger combos to string orchestras and big bands.