Inventive, but Circular Motion
David Conklin | Albuquerque, NM USA | 05/29/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I tend to agree with both of the previous reviewers, even though their opinions differ considerably. I was eager to acquire this disc, based on very favorable reviews in both the Penguin Guide and the All Music Guide to jazz. I tend to think this album is one that jazz critics (and probably some musicians) enjoy more than an "average" jazz lover like myself. Although I can appreciate what Konitz has achieved here--unique and elaborate improvisations on 5 standards--there is a definite "sameness" throughout. We hear the same patterns--Konitz's cool, complex improvisations, Elvin Jones's polyrhythms, and Sonny Dallas's rather uniform walking basslines throughout the disc. The songs all end up sounding very similiar. This album does have a unique overall quality and IS different than anything else in my collection. It was very well-recorded (1961) and sounds great on this 2003 CD re-issue. However, I have a few hundred other jazz CDs that come off the shelf more often than this one. One Konitz CD that I do highly recommend is the 1967 DUETS recording--plenty of variety on that one!
Konitz & Elvin Jones create a rare classic session
Dennis W. Wong | 10/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really don't believe in labeling a musician as "cool" or a hard bop musician, there are some musicians that transcend that category--Lee Konitz, for one, is a good example of this. Well respected by musicians he's played with such as Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan and Joe Lovano, Konitz is not afraid to stretch his horizons like exploring the avant-garde or playing the music of his mentor, Lennie Tristano. This album is a rare surprise for many because it pairs him with the great Elvin Jones, who's normally Coltrane's drummer but reveals a different facet of his talent here. From the opening track, "I Remember You", with bassist Sonny Dallas, Konitz and Jones create a groove that pulls you into their sphere. There are other tracks added to this CD with Nick Stabulus in place of Jones but Konitz is not as hot as he is when he is with Elvin. The two would pair again on an album years later on Milestone but this session is a classic to be savored over and over for lovers of true improvisation!!"