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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove

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Round & Round
Nimbus Records NI 2703  



1. Round and Round and Round
2. Someday My Prince Will Come
3. Luv
4. Nancy
5. Boo Doo
6. Valse Hot
7. Lover Man
8. Bluesette
9. Giant Steps

Lee Konitz – Alto sax, soprano sax
Fred Hersch – Piano
Mike Richmond – Bass
Adam Nussbaum – Drums 
Original release 1988/1995 Music Masters Catalogue.
This release 2008.

Lee Konitz has had a varied career. I first heard him on a 10-inch LP with the Stan Kenton Band called Sketches on Standards: in my opinion one of the finest albums the Kenton Band ever made. Lee’s contribution was significant. He had what at the time was a unique sound and every alto player around had a go at copying him. It is not a sound he uses today, as this album demonstrates, but there are odd glimpses of the sound from years ago. 

For some reason, which I find difficult to understand, every piece on the album is in ¾ time: an interesting challenge, but to what point? There are two Konitz originals, the title track and Boo Doo. The majority of the remaining tracks are either standards or jazz standards. 

I enjoyed Lee’s playing on this album. I must admit to doubting whether I would, because some of his work which is of the totally free-form variety left me cold and totally bored. Here he benefits from having a good rhythm section; I was particularly impressed with the piano playing of Fred Hersch. 

Valse Hot, the Sonny Rollins composition, is particularly successful, which may because it was created to be played in this metre. Many of the tempos chosen are somewhat similar and this does not do much for sustaining interest by the listener, especially as they are all in ¾ tempo. 

Bluesette is another good track. Once again the Norman Gimbel/Jean "Toots" Thielemans tune was written to be performed at this tempo in this metre, and it therefore sounds more natural. The star of Giant Steps is without doubt Fred Hersch; his solo is full of invention. 

To purchase this album, you need to be a Lee Konitz aficionado and to be fond of improvisations in ¾. I enjoyed hearing it, but doubt it will be a regular on my CD player. 

Don Mather

  see also review by Jonathan Woolf




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