Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Complete 1956 Quartets of Lee Konitz

In his original liner notes for Lee Konitz' 1957 quintet Very Cool, Nat Hentoff wrote the following : "Lee Konitz, born October 13, 1927, is one of the exceedingly few individualits of his generation on his instrument, the alto saxophone, since the enveloping arrival and posthumus continued command of Charlie Parker. Konitz has an immediately identifiable style and sound, a conception marked by absorbing and frequently daring logic, and an increasing story-telling emotional depth. He as also indicated recently that he is capable of developing a signifiant voice on the tenor saxhophone as well." Hentoff might well have been thinking about the sessions compiled on this CD, on which Lee Konitz sets his alto down and picks up the tenor sax on many tunes (just as Charlie Parker did on occasion). On the first and probably the most interesting session presented here, however, the main instrument is the alto, and Konitz is featured in a quartet setting with a rhythm section that would almost never be repeated : Jimmy Rowles on piano, Leroy Vinnegar on bass and Shelly Manne on drums. These three musicians were only recorded together on two other occasions (both without Konitz). The first of these collaborations consists of two tracks ("A Walkin' Yhing" and "I'm Coming Virginia") taped in Los Angeles on July 22, 1957 for a Benny Carter LP titled Jazz Giant (pianist André Previn replaced Rowles on all of the other tracks from that album. The LP starred Carter with Ben Webster, Frank Rosolino and Barney Kessel.) The second of these collaborations yielded two more tracks '"Tiger Rag" and "Jersey Bounce") recorded in Los Angeles on August 56, 1957, with a very similar front line : Frank Rosolino, Ben Webster, Barney Kessel (who was the leader), Rowles, Vinnegar and Manne. Both songs were included on Kessel's album Let's Cook !, the rest of which featured Kessel in aquintet format with vibraphonist Victor Feldman, pianist Hampton Hawes, Vinnegar and Manne...
Robert Hale (2010), from the booklet

Lee Konitz
The Complete 1956


Cd. 1

1 The Nearness of You (Carmichael, Washington)  5:14
2 Like Someone in Love (Burke, VanHeusen)  5:31
3 Don't Explain (Holiday, Herzog)  3:00
4 Some of These Days (Brooks, Rositer)  4:09
5 Close Your Eyes (Petkere)  3:53
6 You're Driving Me Crazy (Donaldson)  5:43
7 Don't Blame Me (Fields, McHugh)  3:43
8 Sweet and Lovely (Arnheim, Tobias, Lemare)  4:03
9 Cork 'N' Bib (Konitz)  5:31
10 Everything Happens to Me (Dennis, Adair)  4:09
11 Kary's Trance (Konitz)  6:12
12 Indiana (Hanley, McDonald)  5:23
13 You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To (Porter)  4:17


Cd. 2

1 Star Eyes (Raye, DePaul)  5:22
2 Nesuhi's Instant (Ind)  5:08
3 I Remember You (Mercer, Schertzinger)  5:03
4 All of Me (Simons, Marks)  5:11
5 Straightaway (Konitz, based on "All of Me")  3:45
6 Foolin' Myself (Waller, Razaf)  4:43
7 You Go To My Head (Coots, Gillespie)  6:26
8 My Melancholy Baby (Burnett, Norton)   4:00
9 Pennies in Minor (Tristano)  8:46
10 Sweet and Lovely (Arnheim, Tobias, Lemare)  2:19
11 Easy Living (Rainger, Robin)  3:45
12 Midway (Konitz, bas on "Indiana")  3:23


[Cd. 1, # 1-7]
Lee Konitz - as & ts [# 5]
Jimmy Rowles - p
Leroy Vinnegar - b
Shelly Manne - dr
Recorded in Los Angeles ; December 21, 1956
[Cd. 1, # 8-11]
Lee Konitz - as & ts [# 11]
Billy Bauer - g
Arnold Fishkin - b
Dick Scott - dr
Recorded in New York ; October 16, 1956
[Cd. 1, # 12-13 & Cd. 2, # 1-4]
Lee Konitz - ts
Sal Mosca - p
Peter Ind - b
Dick Scott - dr
Recorded in New York ; September 26, 1956
[Cd. 2, # 5-12] The Real Lee Konitz
Lee Konitz - as
Don Ferrara - tp [# 9-10 only]
Billy Bauer - g
Peter Ind - b
Dick Scott - dr
Recorded at The Midway Lounge, Pittsburgh ; February 15, 1957


Foth said...

Thank-you Mel. Can't get enough of that mid-50's West Coast Cool!

Blue Eyes said...

Great post! thanks a lot Melanchthon!

Axel.T. said...

Great Post.
Keep up the good work.
Best Regards,

jazzwallah said...

C'est si bon!

Otis Foster said...

Thnx Mel


musician3 said...

Magnificent..............Thank You

Bill said...

Wonderful again! Thanks, Mel.

Philo said...

Very nice vintage stuff. Thanks Mel.

ruperberger said...

Gracias Melanchthon! Desde Argentina agradezco este trabajo.

Paul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mybonnie77 said...

Thanks for sharing this good music. Best Regards Mel.

adakun said...

Thanks Mel for your generosity.

TEO said...

Thanks very very much Mel!!!
Again...for me this is the best period of Lee Konitz!!!

fcapeau said...

Magic !!! Many thanks, Mel.

jazzcat1228 said...

Fantastic! Thank you, Mel.

Paul Redbeard said...

Would you be kind enough to re-up this please? I can't see a link anywhere I'm afraid
Many thanks

Melanchthon said...

chemuski said...

A true gem... Thanks Mel !!

deGallo said...

Nice! Thank you.

The Jackal said...


You got me straight away with Leroy Vinegar again, just how many recordings did Leroy make?
I look forward to his influence against Lee Konitz's explorations ..

sandor essedy said...

thanks, Konitz is always welcome here.

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

AmyBRAINS said...


Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Many thnaks Mel

Tarara Bumdiay said...

Great post. Looking forward to hearing this. Many thanks from dear old Blighty.

Paul Redbeard said...

Very nice indeed. Many thanks and best wishes, Paul

Kovina Kris said...

Thank you Mel!