Lee Konitz

Swiss Kiss

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Alto saxophonist Lee Konitz is featured as a guest with the Alan Guyonnet Tentet & Big Band on these 1990 studio sessions, primarily covering compositions and arrangements by the Swiss composer and arranger. Konitz, as usual, plays at a high level no matter the setting; also incorporated into Guyonnet's groups is alto saxophonist George Robert's quartet, with pianist Dado Moroni, bassist Ilsa Eckinger, and drummer Peter Schmidlin. Obvious highlights include Konitz's complex original "Friends" and a rich arrangement of Henry Mancini's "Days of Wine and Roses," which features Matthieu Michel's warm trumpet solo, but there is more to explore. Konitz switches to soprano sax for the swinging "Mister Dream," while "Cafezniho" is a bossa nova that seems like it evolves from a childhood chant. The last four tracks feature the larger 20-piece band, though these compositions aren't quite as strong as the works composed for the tentet. Not an essential part of Konitz's considerable discography, but it is worth picking up if found for a budget price.

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