Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Lee Konitz - Subconscious-Lee

Recorded during the prime of bebop, between 1949 and 1950, Lee Konitz’ Subconscious-Lee seems practically at odds with itself. It lacks the peculiarity and the exuberance that pours from the recordings of Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, and other post-swing experimentalists. It simultaneously seems old-fashioned and futuristic. Lee Konitz, who developed under the tutelage of pianist and pedagogue Lennie Tristano, was perhaps equally influenced by the technical fireworks of bebop, and Tristano’s firm mindset. Tristano held that the rhythm section occupied a secondary role, and that improvisation should avoid overt sentimentality. Instead, Tristano and his students valued complexity and precision of harmony and rhythm. Their pursuit of pure musical devices, unaccompanied by emotional expression, is clearly evident on Subconscious-Lee, on which a sense of cool and detached concentration encircles the performances. The combination of impressive and inventive playing with a generally uncaring approach can be likened to the grunge rock movement of the late 1990s, when bands like Nirvana appeared to have no interest in winning over an audience, and all the while delivered powerful and deeply moving music. In other words, Konitz, Tristano, and frequent collaborator Warne Marsh, sound too cool for school. Tristano believed that a rhythm section’s role was simply to provide the structure over which the improvisers could drape their melodies. He counseled drummers and bassists not to interact with soloists, and not to take the lead in musical events, such as swells in intensity. For this reason, much of this album, like others by Tristano, Marsh, and Konitz, sounds similar to antiquated practices of the hot jazz era, when the only instrumentalists given license to elaborate were the trumpeter and clarinetist. On the other hand, the rhythmic activity that Konitz and Marsh use to create winding and unpredictable lines sound as if they fit better into jazz from the 21st century. In fact, the contemporary jazz practice of disguising formal structure and steering clear of well-worn harmonic paths may have been in part influenced by this very school of improvisation.
Subconscious-Lee has one foot stubbornly planted in the past, and the other dangling in the capricious future.
Jacob Teichroew

Source :

Lee Konitz
(Japanese 20 bit K2 super coding)


1 Subconscious-Lee (Konitz)  2:49
2 Judy (Tristano)  2:56
3 Progression (Konitz)  2:44
4 Retrospection (Tristano)  3:07
5 Ice Cream Konitz (Konitz)  2:42
6 You Go to My Head (Coots, Gillespie)  2:36
7 Marshmallow (Marsh)  2:55
8 Fishin' Around (Marsh)  3:45
9 Tautology (Konitz)  2:56
10 Sound-Lee (Konitz)  4:08
11 Palo Alto (Konitz)  2:31
12 Rebecca (Konitz)  3:05


[# 1-4]

Lee Konitz - as
Billy Bauer - g
Lennie Tristano - p
Arnold Fishkin - b
Shelly Manne - dr [# 2 & 3 out]
Recorded January 11, 1949
[# 7 & 8]

Lee Konitz - as
Warne Marsh - ts
Sal Mosca - p
Arnold Fishkin - b
Denzil Best - dr
Recorded June 28, 1949
[# 9 & 10]

Same as above, except
Jeff Morton - dr replaces Denzil Best
Recorded September 27, 1949
[# 5, 6, 11 & 12]

Lee Konitz - as
Billy Bauer - g
Sal Mosca - p [# 6 out]
Arnold Fishkin - b [# 12 out]
Jeff Morton - dr [# 12 out]
Recorded April 7, 1950


Otis Foster said...

Surprisingly (for me, anyway) I didn't have this in FLAC, so thnx for the upgrade Mel. Superb musicians, creating jazz chamber music of the highest order.

El Tortuga said...

Thanks a lot Mel. you too, make it possible for me, and i believe for a few more people as well, to have a glimplse of wonderful, almost gone and pretty unknown musical treasures... for this one and a few more i thank you a lot man! wish you lots of happiness!

Bill said...

I can't agree more. This is sheer beauty. Thanks, Mel.

Duke! said...

If you're having problems with the password, try capitalizing the first letter. I don't know why but that worked for me.

Thanks for this recording!

Marjan said...

any chance to re-up?
thanks in advance

Marjan said...

Sorry, rs link works fine. Thanks again!

jazzcat1228 said...

thank you, Mel!

Melanchthon said...

deGallo said...

thank you.

Blue Eyes said...

Many thanks Holy Mel for this japanese release! (and for the re-up!)

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

B.why said...


Dylan Oyabi said...

Sorry but could you give us the password...
Thanks for sharing

Kovina Kris said...

Another really nice upgrade. Thank you Mel!