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JazzTimes 10: Great Saxophone Trio Albums

Listen to what can happen when the piano player takes a permanent stroll

A Night at the Village Vanguard by Sonny Rollins
A Night at the Village Vanguard by Sonny Rollins

Lee Konitz: Motion (Verve, 1961)

Even with a fuller ensemble harmony, Lee Konitz had an inescapably light alto sound. The trio date Motion intensifies his less-is-more approach: Konitz doesn’t bother to state the themes of the standards he’s ostensibly performing, and obscures them even further with his disregard for bar lines. “Spacious” is the key consideration; on “I Remember You” and “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To,” among others, Konitz leaves substantial holes for bassist Sonny Dallas and—especially—drummer Elvin Jones to fill with the hard-charging motion of the album’s title.

Preview, buy or download Motion on Amazon!

Originally Published

Michael J. West

Michael J. West is a jazz journalist in Washington, D.C. In addition to his work on the national and international jazz scenes, he has been covering D.C.’s local jazz community since 2009. He is also a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader, and as such spends most days either hunkered down at a screen or inside his very big headphones. He lives in Washington with his wife and two children.