Jazz Birthday:Lee Konitz - Oct.13

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Lee Konitz 1927

Lee Konitz is right to call himself "an international traveling salesman of improvisation": his idiosyncratic approach to jazz has earned him worldwide acclaim without ever leading a steady band of his own. An early convert to bebop, he was one of the first to expand the sonic palette of the alto saxophone beyond the innovations of Charlie "Bird" Parker.

Konitz has been both criticized and praised for his personal, and at times fragile sound, which was first inspired by trumpeter Louis Armstrong and tenor saxophonist Lester Young. He later added the modernist influence of pianist Lennie Tristano to carve out a kind of musical "Northwest Passage" between swinging improvisation and architectural, almost Baroque, lines.


An interview with alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, pioneer of "cool jazz"

Last modified on Monday, 13 October 2014 07:42

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