19 may. 2007

Lee Konitz.

Timbre. Bright, saturated color, intensity, an "acerbic" quality. A marked preference for the middle-to-high register. Vibrato only on longer notes.

Improvisational style. Like Benny Carter, mostly melodic paraphrase in long, sinuous phrases. A trademark move is for him to go up when you expect him to go down. Climax of the solo may be understated at times. Ideas are extremely inventive, but logical. Almost no ornament. A few quotations but not intrusive ones.

It's about as far from the Charlie Parker style as possible, considering that the rhythmic and harmonic conception is pure bop. In other words, it suggests neither a period anterior to Bird, or a development beyond him, yet it doesn't really resemble him at all. This is pretty miraculous. It's in the same general neighborhood as Stan Getz, Paul Desmond, and Art Pepper and other White Saxes of the 50s. The phrases lay back a bit, but never lose intensity. There's an analytical approach in his playing that foreshadows Anthony Braxton.

Personality profile. Introverted, unfrivolous, a bit wry. Very individual. There is wit there but it doesn't need explain itself. Total spontaneity and freedom but no sense of hesitancy. Airiness, lightness, rather than Rollinesque exuberant joy. A high degree of "purity."

3 comentarios:

Andrew Shields dijo...

I saw him in Basel in a trio with Steve Swallow and Paul Motian a few years ago. Endlessly beautiful music.

And I have the Konitz-Mehldau-Haden trio CDs, which are quite stunning as well, if only for the contrast between Konitz's economy and Mehldau's fireworks (which are even commented on by Konitz in the liner notes).

An especially interesting feature of that gig was that the three had never rehearsed.

Anónimo dijo...
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Herb Levy dijo...

Here's a recent interview with Konitz that I think you'll find useful: http://www.pointofdeparture.org/PoD11/PoD11BookCooks_Hamilton.html

Talk about having an evolved poetics!