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Lee Konitz – Round and Round

NIMBUS RECORDS NI 2703 [54:14]



Round and Round and Round
Someday My Prince Will Come
Boo Doo
Valse Hot
Lover Man
Giant Steps
Lee Konitz (alto and soprano saxophones), Fred Hersch (piano), Mike Richmond (bass) Adam Nussbaum (drums)
rec. 1988


This tight-knit band, recorded back in 1988 for MusicMasters, proves as noteworthy now in this Nimbus re-release as it did twenty years ago. It was Konitz with rhythm section, if that’s not too derogatory way to describe the superb trio of Fred Hersch, Mike Richmond and Adam Nussbaum. Konitz as ever proves a musician of fluid creativity, of harmonic sophistication, and tonal eloquence. His interaction with Nussbaum on Round and Round and Round proves an especially creative example of nudging and time keeping. Hersch cooks on Luv where Konitz sounds positively exultant. The keening Lester Young influence is most apparent on Nancy.

Konitz plays around with the tempo of Boo Doo, playfully and creatively increasing or decreasing the rhythmic attack with verve - abetted by Richmond’s vibrant bass playing. As one can see each track contains rhythmic, harmonic or melodic points of difference and interest quite sufficient to keep one fascinated. Valse Hot is another example of the way that moods and textures are varied, parried, restated and expanded. We find Hersch at his most chordally resplendent here, responding to the deeper textures with some consummate playing.

Konitz always manages to keep the familiar, the expected and most certainly the clichéd at bay. In Lover Man we find him at his fluid, most harmonically allusive and never giving in to the maudlin; not least because he takes a quickish tempo. His melodic variations on Lover Man show how constantly alert he is in his playing, how quicksilver is his musical database, how instant his responses to melodic structures and to the idea of substitutions. Throughout in fact he also proves – if proof were needed – how unaffected he is as a musician but how complex are the structures he builds; a great player, beautifully recorded.

Jonathan Woolf

A great player, beautifully recorded ... see Full Review




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