Self Portrait

Lee Konitz

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Self Portrait Review

by Ken Dryden

This is alto saxophonist Lee Konitz's second unaccompanied CD, though there is a twist. Four of the songs are gradually assembled before our ears, starting with a skeletal bassline and then added to with consecutive overdubbed takes, so one hears the piece at each stage of its development. Only someone with his level of skill, imagination and daring would even attempt such a feat, and Konitz succeeds with a flourish on all of them, especially his well known "Subconscious Lee," which is based on the changes to "What Is This Thing Called Love?" The single line interpretations are also well conceived, with the imaginative reworking of "Cherokee" especially standing out. What a way to celebrate one's 70th birthday!

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