Lee Konitz Quartet

The New York Album

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While jazz wars continue to rage between the neo-classicists and most everyone else, veterans like alto saxophonist Lee Konitz thankfully continue to produce great music. Having already experienced the controversy of coming out of Lennie Tristano's idiosyncratic camp during the late bebop years, Konitz seems content in exploring the endless tributaries of jazz and improvisation. The high quality of his work from the past 40 years, along with his willingness to experiment with a variety of musicians and group configurations, earned him both the prestigious Jazzpar Prize and the continued praise of critics and fans alike. For this lovely and swinging date from 1988, Konitz conjures up a fresh array of solo moods on a mix of self-penned material, contemporary originals, and standards. Backed by a stellar band made up of bassist Marc Johnson, pianist Harold Danko, and drummer Adam Nussbaum, Konitz pleasantly surprises with his mercurial phrases, varied tonal palette, and unique rhythmic sense. Highlights include "Candlelight Shadows," "Limehouse Blues," and "Monkian Round." A very enjoyable collection.

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