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Lee Konitz: Hold the Schmaltz

Lee Konitz
Lee Konitz (photo: Nick Ruechel)
Lee Konitz

A memorable Lee Konitz moment occurred just a few minutes before we met. Stepping off the elevator onto his hotel floor, I heard the faint sound of an alto saxophone gradually growing louder as I approached his room. I stood outside his door listening to him practice, transfixed by his smooth, even lines and melodic variations. When he took a break, the spell was broken. During this B&A, the 82-year-old Konitz was outspoken, unguarded and often responded with animated gestures and facial expressions while listening. He also talked about his latest duets recording, Duos With Lee, with pianist Dan Tepfer (Sunnyside). In April Konitz released Live at the Village Vanguard, featuring his New Quartet (pianist Florian Weber, bassist Jeff Denson, drummer Ziv Ravitz), on Enja.

1. Benny Carter

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