Lee Konitz Meets Don Friedman

Lee Konitz

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Lee Konitz Meets Don Friedman Review

by Ken Dryden

Lee Konitz is one of a few alto saxophonists in jazz who avoided succumbing to copying

Charlie Parker's approach, instead developing a dry, very lyrical style and an adventurous

spirit in his musical instruments that rivals almost any other instrumentalist of his era. Matching him with the superb pianist Don Friedman was an inspired decision, as the two men soar in their musical explorations together, along with bassist Tsutomu Okada and drummer Jeff Williams. Their reworking of Dave Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way" finds them moving further away from its famous theme (compared to its composer's performances) in a lengthy, but never dull interpretation. Konitz plays soprano sax on several tracks, including the drummer's driving "Huntington Street" and the leader's tricky "Lew 'N' Shu." Beautifully recorded in front of a respectful audience, this Japanese release is worth acquiring.

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