Well worth aquiring if you are interested in Konitz or Marsh
placidothecat | MD United States | 02/02/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A very nice set, and one well worth aquiring if you are interested in Konitz or Marsh. The music itself is excellent and is in the Lennie Tristano style of long, sinewy, and complex new melodies over standard changes. All the playing is great -- Konitz and Marsh are a study in contrasts, both melodic and timbral. One only wishes that Bill Evans' presence was more felt -- he lays out quite a lot while the saxes solo and mostly takes very short solos himself. Sounds like he isn't very comfortable in this situation. In Evans' defense this wasn't a regular gig for him -- he was "sitting in" for Tristano, who was teaching the night this was recorded.The recording quality is mostly fine, the saxophones sound very present and full and the contrast in timbre between Konitz and Marsh is a delight. There is some strange panning that occurs during many of the cuts -- often the horns start out on the right side of the soundstage, then shift to the center when soloing. Also during piano solos the ride cymbal starts on the left and moves right -- strage and probably done at the time of the actual recording, not the remastering (what mastering engineer would do this?)"
Five strong personalities
N. Dorward | Toronto, ON Canada | 02/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an invaluable club recording of an unusual lineup: the two Tristanoite saxophonists Lee Konitz & Warne Marsh, the great pianist Bill Evans, the bassist Jimmy Garrison & Paul Motian on drums. The gig was in fact Tristano's, but because he taught Tuesday nights Evans was asked to fill in. The recording is an amateur one, but a good one: its only oddity is that in the absence of multiple mikes, the mike is physically shifted between the saxophones and piano before & after Evans' solos, the aural effect being rather like walking around the side of the bandstand. On the other hand, the recording superbly captures Garrison & Motian, who are both in incredibly good form--rarely has a professional live recording from the 1950s caught the bass so prominently.The music here is all mid- to up-tempo, with blistering takes on Tristano-school favourites like "You Stepped Out of a Dream" & "Lennie-Bird", as well as a few unusual choices ("Baby, Baby All the Time"!?). Part of the attraction of these discs is the palpable tension on the stand. Konitz is very clearly heading away from Tristano's influence: his tone is unpredictably smooth or rough, & his lines rhythmically uneven, punctuated by silences. It's far from the smooth, endlessly unspooling melodies he'd earlier favoured on recordings like the _Intuition_ sessions. It's perhaps because of this that Bill Evans seems uncomfortable with Konitz's approach: he doesn't comp behind Konitz on solos except on the final track, & generally Evans has a quiet night of it, perhaps feeling a bit of an intruder in what wasn't his gig. Marsh is in typically inventive form, & the heart of this disc isn't so much the solos (good as they are) as the rousing simultaneous improvisations by the two saxophonists--these sometimes go on for several choruses.This 2CD set is an ideal place to start for those who've yet to investigate the Tristanoite school of players: it's a great listen. This music is released here in this form for the first time (a severely edited form was released on a small label years ago--Tristano objected to Konitz's solos & edited them out!). It's a privilege to discover, years after, that this casual gig, recorded informally, is one of the great live discs of the 1950s."
Up there with collectable Konitz
Ian Muldoon | Coffs Harbour, NSW Australia | 10/08/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ninety-Six minutes is a lot of music but there is a consistent high quality of performance of 12 tracks over two CD's. Mr Konitz doesn't falter and the interchanges between him and Mr Marsh are as satisfying as ever.
The rhythm section is a meeting of legends and the music is good enough for one not to notice occasional recording irregularities. One to own."
A must have
R comme Ralingue | Bordeaux, France | 09/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great must have. Team from west coast playing with team from new-york. The rhythm section (Bill Evans on piano, Jimmy Garrison on doublebass, Paul MOtian on drums) is fantastic. Garrison is the right man. Bill plays memorable solos. Motian is stunning. Marsh and Konitz seem to me in better form than on the disc they recorded in studio for Atlantic."