Seasons Change is an album by saxophonist Lee Konitz and vibraphonist/pianist Karl Berger recorded in Zürich in 1979 and released on the German Circle label. A beautiful pairing – the vibes and piano of Karl Berger, and the amazingly sharp alto tone of Lee Konitz!
Lee Konitz is a master of linear playing and a stylist on the highest level. The purity of Konitz intonation – that cool nobility which hasy been present in his playing since the 40s – is famous. Lee Konitz shows in this recording just how exquisite chords can sound even without chord instruments. But we have always known Lee to be one of the greatest spontaneous composers of Jazz. To play without chord instruments is absolutely no problem for a baritone saxophonist of Thomas Zoller’s calibre, it has had its own special fascination ever since the days of the Gerry Mulligan Quintet in the 50’s. Carlo Mombelli (South Africa) and Billy Elgart (USA) give a rhythm team that plays from funky to free with inspiring imagination. The result of this group’s unique partnership is a clear, transparent line. A revelry in counterpoint, modern grooves and sounds that ,sophistication.succeeds as seldom before, in a union of eloquence and fire.
In December 1975, tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh and altoist Lee Konitz went on a European tour. Their musical reunion showed that the magic that had existed between them a quarter-century before when they teamed up with their teacher Lennie Tristano was still very much present…
Lee Konitz revived his nonet for the occasion of this 1979 concert, with trumpeters Red Rodney and John Eckert, baritonist Ronnie Cuber, trombonist Jimmy Knepper, and tuba player/bass trombonist Sam Burtis joining him in the front line. Lennie Tristano's "April," a challenging reworking of the standard "I'll Remember April," proves to be an inspired opener, with great solos all around. Knepper's blues "Who You" has the flavor of Charles Mingus' early-'60s compositions.
At age 74 Lee Konitz remains one of the most original and engaging improvisers in jazz. On Parallels, recorded at St. Peter's Church in New York City in December of 2000, the altoist brings his pure sound, obliquely swinging articulation and cliche-free melodic imagination to a set of standards and originals by himself and his former mentor, Lennie Tristano.