9 dic. 2008


Lee Konitz & Warne Marsh (1956?)

This is a recording date with the two saxes and a rhythm section of Sal Mosca, Billy Bauer, Oscar Pettiford, and Kenny Clark. Pettiford is superb, one of my favorite bop bassists. Konitz and Marsh have a very complementary style, and in fact it is hard to tell them apart if your mind wanders a bit: Marsh plays tenor sax in the alto register, like Stan Getz, and the approach to improvisation is very similar, since both come out of the Tristano school.

I read a book about Tristano, and his pedagogical included learning to memorize and sing along to recorded jazz solos. I try to do this myself.

The tunes include Topsy, a Basie staple, Marsh's own "Background Music," Charlie Parker's "Donna Lee," and two standard pop songs: There Will Never Be Another You, and I Can't Get Started. Don't Squawk is a twelve bar blues. I'm not sure about Ronnie's Line. I don't know that tune from any other context.

For pure improvisation, it is hard to beat Konitz and Marsh--unless your name happens to be Sonny Rollins.

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