Lee Konitz


Challenge Records

Lee Konitz (as), Bert Van Den Brink (p), Hein Van de Geyn (b), Hans Van Oosterhoout (d)

Reference: CHR 70053 CD

Bar code: 0608917005325

Lee Konitz, as all great improvisers, has a very personal voice. In 1997, short after his 70th birthday and 50 years after his first recording, this album was recorded. It contains seven standards that Konitz has been involved with most of his artistic life, but all of them sound so freshly considered, that a reissue was a must. 'Lover Man', for example, gets a novel treatment by trio (minus drums) as a waltz, and 'Thinging' (Konitz's line on 'All the Things You Are') has a mid-chorus modulation that makes us hear these familiar harmonies in a new way. 'Cherokee' gets a more thoughtful rendition than we're accustomed to . And hear Lee's unaccompanied opening to 'Yesterdays', an example of Konitz at his most haunting. 'Moonlight in Vermont' receives an almost-martial duo (alto saxophone and piano) performance. Both 'East of the Sun' and 'You Could See Me Now' are straight-ahead, but hardly routine, quartet outings. Of a more unusual nature is 'Kojo No Tsuki', which has an appropriately Asian flavor. 'Dialogues' is a free improvisation by the foursome that has all of the logic one expects from Konitz and his cohorts.


01. East of the Sun (Brooks Bowman) 6:15
02. Yesterdays (Harbach-Kern) 5:43
03. Kojo No Tsuki (Rentaro Taki) 5:50
04. Spring Fever (Hein van de Geyn) 7:14
05. Thingin' (Lee Konitz) 6:23
06. If You Could See Me Now (Dameron-Sigman) 6:20
07. Dialogue (Van Den Brink-Konitz)5:55
08. I Love You (Cole Porter) 4:33
09. Moonlight in Vermont (Blackburn-Suessdorf) 6:12
10. Lover Man (Davis-Ramirez-Sherman) 7:36
11. Cherokee (Ray Noble) 6:26

Album details

Total time: 69:14 min.

Lee Konitz with the Bert Van Den Brink Trio
Lee Konitz (alto sax), Bert Van Den Brink (piano), Hein Van de Geyn (bass), Hans Van Oosterhoout (drums).
Recorded at John Van Eijk Studio, Amersfoort, The Netherlands, November 5, 1997

Sound engineer: Tijmen Zinkhaan
Photography: Joost Leijen
Sleeve design: Dolphin Design

Production Coordination: Anne de Jong

Press reviews

"If you can find 'Dialogues' of Lee Konitz, you will always be in the moment with a good mix of what his music has represented for the past 50 years. It is a rarity in 2001 to witness an artist inspired by something he had done in 1949. What is more, Lee Konitz has successfully made a career largely based on intuition. Konitz goes inside the music, challenging listener and artist alike. Lee Konitz makes the avant-garde an accessible standard music and the standard far from expected."

Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut -All About Jazz

"On the alto saxophone, Lee Konitz has been an undisputed master, and now in his seventies, he shows no signs of slowing down. His fresh, rambling melodicism is ever-present and strong. For this recording, he is inspired and summarily has the favor returned by his excellent Netherlands-based rhythm section of pianist Bert Van den Brink, bassist Hein Van de Geyn, and drummer Hans van Oosterhout.

They play with keen spirit, telepathic notions, and musical brilliance behind the always sharp Konitz. It's also important to note that this session was done in one sitting. Of the 11 tracks, nine are standards, including the obligatory version of "All the Things You Are" that Konitz reharmonizes and calls "Thingin'." This "thing" has Konitz laying out until the second bridge chorus, well past Van de Geyn's bass solo. The majority of the pieces are done in easy swing fashion, and there are many passages where just piano and alto stand alone (the intro of "Yesterdays," the entire "Moonlight in Vermont") where Van den Brink hits a stride mood while Konitz touches on stratospheric high tones, or the section right before the coda during a lighter than usual "Cherokee," the rhythm dropping out and the other two marveling at each other's wares. "Lover Man" is done as an easy waltz but has a distinct sense of urgency, with the trio, especially Van de Geyn digging in, and "East of the Sun" is a good swinger that kicks off the program. The title track is a free bop improv with loose, melodic associations and signposts that are fun to listen to, while Rentaro Taki's "Kojo No Tsuki" has a steady Oriental feel accented by Asiatic rays of refracted light trying to somewhat illuminate a darker mood. Van den Brink goes solo with wit and charm, not to mention a high degree of skill for Cole Porter's "I Love You," and the trio (without Konitz) on the ballad "Spring Fever" more than proves their mettle as improvisers and staunch jazzmen.

Of the dozens of fine recordings from Konitz over the past decade, this just might be his best. There a spontaneous, smoldering combustion and consistency the Van den Brink trio provides him that cannot be denied. It's quite a pleasurable listening experience, and another high-water mark in the continuing career of one of the jazz world's premier icons."

Michael G. Nastos -All Music Guide

"Lee Konitz is one of the most influential alto saxophonists in the early development of modern jazz. He incorporated many of the harmonic ideas of Charlie Parker into his playing. Konitz grew up in Chicago and played in the influential Claude Thornhill band, was member of Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool-nonet and he is regarded as one of the architects of 'cool' playing. In 1949 he joined Lennie Tristano and experimented in free jazz with pianist Paul Bley. After a period in Stan Kenton's band in the early 1950s he continued to excel in all sizes of ensemble, but his most original and challenging work has been in duos, trios and quartets, particularly his regular pairing with pianist Harold Danko. Since the mid-1960s , Konitz has lived and worked in Europe.

Bert van den Brink trio give a first-rate account of themselves, both on their own and in support of Konitz.The trio's ballad feature, 'Spring Fever', is a treat. Bert van den Brink - with a classical background - is a self-taught jazzpianist. He has a remarkably ripe piano style, rich in lyricism and harmonic sophistication. One hears echoes of Lennie Tristano in his solo version of 'I Love You'. Hein Van de Geyn is one of the most distinguished European bassists to emerge in this decade, and both he and his rhythm partner, drummer Hans van Oosterhout, are alert and creative listeners."


10,95 €  (tax incl.)

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