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Lee Konitz/Ted Brown: Dig-It

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Konitz and tenorman Ted Brown were both Tristano class of ’48 students, and have worked together occasionally over the years since. This reunion is used as an occasion for dusting off some of the impossibly convoluted heads that Tristano and his disciples are known for writing: Lennie’s “317 E. 32nd Street,” and several Konitz originals, including “Hi Beck” and “Subconscious Lee” anchor the program. Brown writes well in this style, too, as his “Smog Eyes,” “Feather Bed” and the title track confirm. A less known figure, Brown is nevertheless a wonderful player; his style basically as it was in the ’50s, occupying sort of a middle ground between Warne Marsh and Lester Young. It’s interesting to note the subtle difference in Konitz’s approach here, compared to his work with the like-minded Marsh. Ron McClure and Jeff Williams do an excellent job as rhythm section. I’ve always felt that returning to this material brings out the best in Konitz, and it’s great to hear Brown again.