Lee Konitz – In Europe ’56 – Paris (unreleased) and Köln Sessions
American composer and alto saxophonist Lee Konitz left NYC for Germany in January 1956 for a series ofconcerts and recordings organized by producer Gigi Campi. Konitz was a major figure in the “cool jazz” movement for which German players then had more affinity. Campi also called the great Swedish baritone saxophonist Lars Gullin, another “cool” exponent who along with Konitz was billed as guest soloist with the New Jazz Stars group led by Austrian tenor saxophonist Hans Koller.
Konitz and Gullin were also invited to perform in Paris, where they played at Club-Saint Germain, and also recorded—with Bobby Jaspar, René Urtreger, Pierre Michelot, and Christian Garros—an unpretentious studio blowing session organized on January 16th by producer Marcel Romano. Planned as part of an LP, the recording remained unreleased and is heard here for the first time.
Then, on January 17th Konitz and Gullin were joined by Koller’s group in Köln for the first of two recording sessions at BFN Studio that Gigi Campi produced—the second took place on the 21st, and both were issued as three 45 rpm by the Italian label Carisch.
Overall, these Paris and Köln sessions, offer a fascinating meeting of Lee Konitz with some of the best European “cool school” minds, full of lyricism, melodic improvisation, fresh variations, thoughtful interaction and fine control of dynamics.
1. Now’s the Time - 13:05 2. Half Nelson - 7:59 3. Ablution - 8:39 4. East of Eden - 3:57 5. Stephany - 4:58 6. Late Summer - 6:59 7. En Rodage - 3:48 8. Lee-La-Lu - 4:57 9. Ablution - 3:58 10. Variations No.8 from “Passacaglia” - 3:00 11. I’m Getting Sentimental Over You - 2:46 12. Zoot - 6:09 13. Broadway - 9:15
Personnel on the PARIS (Unreleased) Session:
Tracks #1-3: Lee Konitz (alto sax) , Bobby Jaspar (tenor sax) , Lars Gullin (baritone sax) , René Urtreger (piano) , Sacha Distel (guitar) , Pierre Michelot (bass) , Christian Garros (drums)
Recorded in Paris, January 16, 1956
Personnel on the KÖLN Sessions:
Tracks #4-6: Lee Konitz (alto sax) , Hans Koller (tenor sax) , Lars Gullin / Willi Sanner (baritone saxes) , Roland Kovac (piano) , Johnny Fischer (bass) , Rudi Sehring (drums)
Recorded at BFN Studio, Köln, January 17, 1956
Tracks #7-11: Lee Konitz (alto sax on 8,10,11, tenor sax on 11, baritone sax on 7,9) , Hans Koller (tenor sax on 8,10) , Lars Gullin (baritone sax on 7-10) , Roland Kovac (piano on 7-9,11) , Johnny Fischer (bass) , Karl Sanner (drums)
Recorded at BFN Studio, Köln, January 21, 1956
Track #12: Same personnel as #4-6.
Recorded at Freiburg University, January 10, 1956
Track #13: Same personnel as #4-6, but Hans Koller out, Attila Zoller, guitar, added.
Recorded at the “Concert in Modern Jazz”, Köln, January 14, 1956
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