Plays the Music of Lee Konitz (Geestgronden 021)
Sound-Lee! is Guus Janssen on piano, Jorrit Dijkstra on alto sax, Raoul
van der Weide on bass and Wim Janssen on drums. I know of Dutch pianist
Guus Janssen from his previous releases on this same label and as well
as in Kevin Whitehead's great and exhaustive book, "New Dutch Swing".
Young alto saxist, Jorrit Dijkstra, went to
school and still lives in Boston and has played in the Sunday Free-Style
Series at CB's Lounge a couple of times over the past year. I reviewed
a solo sax cd of Jorrit's last year in which he had sampled and manipulated
his alto in a variety of ways, but there appears to little connection
to this Lee Konitz tribute.
Lee Konitz also plays alto sax and is one of the originators of the cool
school sound, which began with Miles Davis' 'Birth of Cool' recording,
over fifty years ago. Konitz was one of the few alto saxists from that
era not to be a Bird imitator and has continued be a singular voice on
sax for his long career.
All but two of the tunes on this cd are written by Lee, with one by Jorrit
and one by Lennie Tristano, a Konitz collaborator and teacher. These Dutch
cats do fine job of capturing that sublime, sprite cool spirit which is
no small feat. Both the piano and alto sax swirl those notes in an infectious,
effervescent way. There is a nervous tension which permeates, as the entire
quartet fly quickly
through Lee's "Progression".
I was just listening to a version of Lee's "Hi Beck" from 1951
with Miles and Max Roach and this quartet also do a marvelous job of swinging
righteously at a moderate tempo, giving Jorrit and Guus time to stretch
out their solos and sail slowly through their fine solos. Guus' solos
are often dazzling as they start with nonchalant grace and soon sparkle
as they ascend and spin lots of angular lines simultaneously.
"Palo Alto" has that great, quick boppin' head that the quartet
seem to spin through effortlessly, with Guus weaving layers of lines around
Jorrit's daredevil solo. Jorrit's "Near-Lee" features the drummer
playing an island sorta groove with his hands on his drums throughout
and Jorrit taking a fine, pinched tone alto solo with joyous glee. Konitz
and Tristano's "Ablution" is another one of those difficult,
fast boppin' gems in which both Guus and Jorrit take superb solos which
are a marvel of invention and a near-furious stream of note twisting ideas
being through back and forth. This is a superb and devilishly fun release
and a total gas!
reviews about Sound Lee!