Lee Konitz

After Hours

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Lee Konitz, like many veteran jazz artists, excels in a live setting. This informal session occurred after the St. Paul nightclub Artist Quarter was officially closed for the evening, with the alto saxophonist playing a bit for invited guests with bassist Billy Peterson and drummer Kenny Horst, who also happened to be co-owners of the club. Konitz was impressed with this after-hours set and commented that he wished it had been taped, so he was delighted to learn that the last hour was indeed recorded. Most of this set consists of standards, though there's plenty of experimentation. The trio takes "It's You or No One" into very abstract settings, while Peterson sets up "Alone Together" with an extended bass solo. Konitz's "Mr. Green," technically the only non-standard of the date, is a barely disguised reworking of Johnny Green's timeless ballad "Body and Soul." The dark yet strutting interpretation of "Stella by Starlight" is particularly refreshing. This CD is getting harder to find, so fans of Lee Konitz shouldn't delay in seeking out this rewarding live disc.

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