Thursday, November 11, 2010

Must See! Saturday Night Cool - Lee Konitz headlines in one of my favourite Paris Jazz Clubs

If you're looking for a great experience watching live jazz in Paris or visiting one of the many live jazz clubs and bars in Paris then I would advice you check out a concert this Saturday night (November 13th at 8pm, 25 euros) at Sunset/Sunside  - one of my favourite jazz bars in the city.  

Lee Konitz and Dan Tepfer

Lee is generally considered one of the driving forces of Cool Jazz, and one of the few altoists to retain a distinctive sound in the 40s, when Charlie Parker exercised a tremendous influence on other players.

Konitz began his professional career in 1945 with the Teddy Powell band as a replacement for Charlie Ventura. The engagement apparently did not start out smoothly, as Ventura is said to have banged his head against a wall when Konitz played.

In 1949 he teamed up with the Miles Davis group for one or two weeks and again in 1950 to record Birth of the Cool. Konitz has stated that he considered the group to belong to Gerry Mulligan, and credits Lennie Tristano as the true forebearer of "the cool".

In the early 1950s, Konitz recorded and toured with Stan Kenton's orchestra. In 1961, he recorded Motion with Elvin Jones on drums and Sonny Dallas on bass. This spontaneous session, widely regarded as a classic, consisted entirely of standards. The loose trio format aptly featured Konitz's unorthodox phrasing and chromaticism.

Konitz has been quite prolific, recording dozens of albums as a band leader. He has also recorded or performed with Dave Brubeck, Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Elvin Jones and others.

Konitz has become more experimental as he has grown older, and has released a number of free and avant-garde jazz albums, playing alongside many far younger musicians. He has released albums on contemporary free jazz/improv labels such as hatART, Soul Note and Omnitone.

Dan Tepfer is actually the son of some of my favourite Paris people – The Tepfers ran an open salon in Paris for years,  ‘L’Atelier de la Main d’Or’', named after the lovely cobblestone alley where they had their studio.  They invited musicians, poets, dancers and performers of all stripes to come in and show their work.  And Dan is their talented progeny.

Here are a couple of youtubes of Lee Konitz and of Dan Tepfer - Dan is performing on the stage of his parents' atelier in Paris

Lee Konitz, back in the day

and now still in fine form

Enjoy, and don't forget to check out our extensive list of other great jazz clubs in Paris, the city of lights!  I'll be back in Paris on the weekend and updating the 'best of' page again after that

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