Lee Konitz

The Soprano Sax Album: Standards

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Lee Konitz has benefited from his association with the Philology label, as he has had a free hand choosing material for his frequent recording sessions with some of Italy's best musicians. This duo meeting with pianist Riccardo Arrighini features Konitz exclusively on soprano sax, an instrument that has long been a part of his arsenal but not heard as frequently as his alto sax. Most of the music consists of standards long familiar to the leader or variations of the chord changes to timeless ballads. Konitz begins "One More Time" (a reworking of "All the Things You Are") with an intricate solo introduction, giving way to Arrighini's spacious solo. Each man has a solo track: Konitz's "Acapellakee" is built upon the framework of "Cherokee" and Arrighini's "L.O.V.E." (not to be confused with the earlier hit for Nat King Cole and other singers from earlier decades) has "There Is No Greater Love" as its source, where he even works in a bit of stride piano. Konitz's approach to the soprano sax is much like his playing of the alto sax, very lyrical and with a distinctive sound that can be mistaken for no one else. Highly recommended!

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