Lee Konitz

At the New Mississippi Jazz Club

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Lee Konitz is accompanied by an Italian rhythm section (pianist Giovanni Ceccarelli, bassist Mauro Battisti, and drummer Carlo Battisti) in this live recording taped at the New Mississippi Jazz Club (a tiny Rome nightspot) early in 2000. The set sticks primarily to standards, starting with an adventurous extended medley of "Yesterdays" and "The Song Is You." Konitz's interpretation of the old warhorse "Body and Soul" kicks off with a powerful unaccompanied solo, while the long, introspective take of "Cherokee" is the obvious highlight of the evening. There are several originals by Konitz as well, including a pretty ballad, "Gundula," dedicated to his wife (which unfortunately seems to be faded out at the end); "Thingin'," a challenging piece adapted from "All the Things You Are"; and the jaunty yet complex blues "Boo Doo." Although the recording quality is not quite up to Philology's standards, since producer Paolo Piangiarelli and his favorite engineer evidently weren't present, the extraordinary playing of Konitz and his pickup band more than makes up for the occasional incomplete track.

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