Konitz, Cohen and Baron.
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 12/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In early 2000, Lee Konitz was invited by John Zorn to record with Zorn's standard rhythm section-- bassist Greg Cohen and drummer Joey Baron. Cohen and Baron, known for their flexibility and virtuosity, prove a surprisingly good fit for the saxophonist. Konitz, for his part, is remarkably nimble and exciting, seemingly inspired by the band.
Most of the pieces are mid-tempo, light, flexible, and energetic-- opener "Lennie's" is as good an example of what to expect on the record as anything else. Konitz is light and bouncey, accompanied only by Baron, when Cohen comes in to anchor the proceedings, things tighten up a hair, sinking into a fantastic groove. This sort of loose-but-tight groove is evident throughout the album, with the standout tracks featuring superlative performances by one or more of the musicians-- one of the trademarks of Zorn's Masada is the rhythm section stealing the show from the soloist, and while Cohen and Baron are a touch more subdued then on Masada, their performances are nothing short of superb-- be it a feature for one or the other (Cohen's solo on "5th Avenue", Baron's on "L.T.") or simply superb accompaniment of the leader (patient developing "A Noble Tune"), the trio is brilliant. Konitz gets his chance to shine unaccompanied on "Soundlee", where he is lyrical, rhythmic, and surprisingly agile.
All in all, "Some New Stuff" is a good listen, well worth the investment for fans of Konitz or the rhythm section."