The late Lee Konitz is honoured on this classic recording,
recorded as part of the Jazzpar Awards.
This release showcases the work of Konitz in a variety of settings all derived from the JAZZPAR All Star Nonet directed by saxophonist Jens Søndergaard. It begins with three tracks recorded by Radio Denmark during the actual final concert of the series in Copenhagen’s Falkoner Scenen. Sadly, although this reissue has been in preparation for some months, it has now turned into a memorial for Konitz, who died at the age of 92 from complications of the virus Covid_19 on April 15, 2020.
Lee Konitz was one of the most highly
valued individualists of the entire field of jazz. His
recordings from as early as 1947, the year he
turned 20, show that the basis of his unique style
was already formed, partly under the influence of
fellow Chicagoan Lennie Tristano. This fact was
remarkable enough, in an era when all the other
saxophonists who weren’t actively clinging to the approach of Johnny Hodges, Willie Smith or Benny Carter were trying desperately to catch up with Charlie Parker. But Konitz was developing an almost pianistic process, in which his lines were not dictated by what was easy for his instrument and, in addition, were not given a deliberately emotive profile by the articulation and tonal variety of the saxophone.