Saturday, August 21, 2010

Music Notes – Another Shade of Blue

Have been enjoying this 1999 release of Lee Konitz with Brad Mehldau on piano and Charlie Haden on bass. It is the kind of album that easily brings to mind a smoky bar or looking out the window on a lonely night, and yet nothing here strikes me as depressing. The disc was recorded at the Jazz Bakery in Culver City to a quiet, but appreciative audience.
I only have one complaint about Another Shade of Blue. The album is so mellow and quiet in places that parts are often hard to hear. There are some wonderful solos from everyone, but I had difficulty picking up some of them (particularly Haden’s) unless I had the volume up.
If you like a mellow saxophone, this is one to buy. Konitz’s work here impeccable, proving one doesn’t have to play loud and fast to be impressive. I always like to hear Mehldau, and his playing as the side man is a treat. And Haden, as always, makes everyone around him sound better. But it is Konitz who really shines. He produces a sweet tone, warm and unmatched.

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