Monday, May 16, 2011

Subconscious-Lee Konitz

The 1949 Prestige recordings contained on this album are some of the greatest jazz performances ever, period. One happy fact of this genre that sometimes makes record collecting seem like a neat hobby is that some records are gatherings of many important players from particular scenes. In this case, that means not only is there wonderful playing from alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, but also great contributions from his usual gang of sidekicks, including pianist Lennie Tristano, tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh, and guitarist Billy Bauer. The dozen tunes include a standard that Konitz has done many great interpretations of through his career, "You Go to My Head," but is largely a series of original compositions, some with heads as intricate as the route out of the labyrinth. This is one of these sessions in which there is a sense of wonder in the air, and at the same times the musicians seem to make the impossible seem easy. Some of these impressive feats that are accomplished so casually include the suggestion of several time feels in the course of a series of phrases, something the featured drummers such as Denzil Best react to strongly, audibly salivating with cymbal pulsations. There is also a warmth of tone throughout, in moments when the musicians are improvising together, giving the impression of being seated before a steadily growing mound of shimmering gold coins. The tunes on this album sometimes appear in a different sequence on reissues.
Eugene Chadbourne

Source :

Lee Konitz


1 Progression (Konitz)  3:02
2 Tautology (Konitz)  2:45
3 Retrospection (Tristano)  3:09
4 Subconscious-Lee (Konitz)  2:49
5 Judy (Tristano)  2:56
6 Marshmallow (Marsh)  2:55
7 Fishin' Around (Marsh)  3:47
8 Tautology (Konitz)  2:56
9 Sound-Lee (Konitz)   4:08
10 Rebecca (Konitz)  3:05
11 You Go to My Head (Coots, Gillespie)  2:38
12 Ice Cream Konitz (Konitz)  2:45
13 Palo Alto (Konitz)  2:31


[# 1-5]

Lee Konitz - as
Billy Bauer - g
Lennie Tristano - p
Arnold Fishkin - b
Shelly Manne - dr
Recorded November 1, 1949

[# 6-9]
Lee Konitz - as
Warne Marsh - ts
Sal Mosca - p
Arnold Fishkin - b
Denzil Best - dr
Jeff Morton replaces Denzil Best [# 8-9]
Recorded September, 1949
[# 9-13]

Lee Konitz - as
Billy Bauer - g
Sal Mosca - p [# 12-13]
Arnold Fishkin - b [# 11-13]
Jeff Morton - dr [# 11-13]
Recorded July 4, 1950


Melanchthon said...

swamielmo said...

thank you mel. i like this lennie tristano school.

neil said...

Wierd! Got another Konitz album of the same name, but with totally different tracks...

woland said...

Thanks for this Tristano-Konitz classic. I used to have this disc but I lost it some time ago.

zardoz1984 said...

Timeless stuff. I'm still waiting to hear a bad Konitz record but this one truly rips off past & future, out of the parkerian revolution. And such emotional music definetely CANNOT be named "cold"! Thx Mel, you rule.

PS: Billy Bauer is a joy.

ZM-JazzRock said...

Mel and SVNV's friends,

Really nice album: warm, inspirational and colorful sound. Pure Jazz on its purest essence.
But, IMHO, there is a certain distance between these recordings and what AMG's reviewer (Eugene Chadboune) wrote...!
Obviously this is an All-Star dream-team. But, I'm not sure if we can consider these (wonderful) sessions, as "some of the greatest jazz performances, ever".
Anyway, this is only my personal point of view.
My recommendation, of course, is: Grab it now! An excellent album, indeed. I am listening to it for the third time this afternoon. One of my favorites: "RETROSPECTION".
Thanx for make my day Mel.
Regards from Brazil,

Orbyt said...

Don't know Konitz as well as I would like to, so really appreciate this post. Thanks Mel.

Otis Foster said...

As much as I dig Tristano and his school, oddly I have this release only in mp3, so I'm glad to see it in lossless.

Tristano brought a new approach to jazz: instead of relying in significant part on instrument dynamics to convey or stimulate emotions, his playing was almost affectless, requiring a different response from the listener. Listen to his drummers; there's very little range to their work. I hear the same thing in Konitz, Marsh and Ted Brown, and of course Sal Mosca.

I think of the unison choruses on 'Wow', intensely emotional - for me, anyway - without relying on more traditional musical techniques, almost monotonal in its quality. Chadbourne states it as sitting before a steadily growing mound of shimmering gold coins. Pretty neat turn of phrase.

deGallo said...

Thank you for Lee Konitz.

Adrian said...

Thank you very much for Lee's debut album.

Anonymous said...


Blue Eyes said...

Oh! Par les saintes roubignolles du pape! merci Mel for this session!

fredonline said...

Thanks Mel ;o)

Jeff Faubel said...

Many Thanks for posting this classic Lee Konitz recording. I'm a first time visitor to your site. Appreciate the password to access the file.

jazztap said...