Personnel: Lee Konitz (alto saxophone); Bill Frisell (guitar); Joey Baron (drums).
Audio Mixers: Jon D'Uva; Steven Remote.
Liner Note Author: Jeff Levenson.
Recording information: The Blue Note, New York, NY (06/04/2011-06/05/2011).
Photographer: John Abbott .
Lee Konitz joined forces with Bill Frisell, Gary Peacock, and Joey Baron for a week-long booking at the Blue Note in New York City in early June 2011 (though no one was officially designated as the leader), with highlights from two nights being selected for this CD. The always-surprising alto saxophonist has worked with numerous configurations of musicians during his six-decade career, always staying fresh and avoiding predictability; this meeting finds the quartet covering six standards in an introspective yet stimulating manner. "What Is This Thing Called Love" often sounds like an exercise for jazz groups as they travel its familiar path, yet only a hint of its structure remains in this version, which deftly utilizes space and darting lines. "Body & Soul" is a bit closer to its theme, with Konitz's brilliant improvisation leading the way as Frisell provides striking backgrounds then solos with equal gusto. It's likely that Konitz has played "I'll Remember April" for most of his career, but Frisell opens it alone with a striking, deliberate solo, followed by the rest of the quartet weaving superb countermelodies around him. Baron introduces "I Remember You" on drums, keeping the audience in suspense until the group reveals it gradually in a manner more humorous than sentimental. There is never a dull moment throughout these brilliant live performances. ~ Ken Dryden