Lee Konitz

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Paolo Piangiarelli produced a series of inspired sessions featuring Phil Woods (who played clarinet exclusively on this occasion) in 2000 for his Philology label, so it isn't surprising that he went back into the studio the following year, pairing some of the same supporting musicians with the brilliant alto saxophonist Lee Konitz. Accompanying the jazz veteran on this date is guitarist Irio De Paula, who many jazz fans may have first discovered in his earlier duo date with Woods, Encontro (On Jobim). Konitz's unique dry yet lyrical approach to his instrument meshes well with De Paula in a program mostly consisting of bossa novas by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Konitz frequently sits back and enjoys De Paula's imaginative introductions to favorites such as "Meditacao" (also known as "Meditation") and the still very popular "Wave." But there are a few twists in the program, including lively takes of classic standards such as "But Not for Me" and "On a Slow Boat to China," and a very enjoyable bossa nova interpretation of Miles Davis' "Four." This CD should be considered an essential acquisition by any serious fan of Konitz.

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